All Eyes Will Be on Gadsden County As Election Draws Near

Remember Gadsden County and the hundreds of ballots that had to be thrown out?
Well, changes have been made aimed at ensuring every vote is counted.

Gadsden County elections supervisor Shirley Knight shows new registered voters how to use the optical scan voting machines.

Back in 2000, these machines were not around and close to1,800 ballots were tossed because of over votes.

Knight said, “when the voters went into the next column, they didn't realize they were still voting on the presidential race. They possibly thought they were voting in another race."

Going into November, a little more than 26,000 Gadsden County residents are registered to vote and that total is higher than it was for the 2000 election.

Knight says the new machines, introduced in 2001, will insure all of those votes are counted. Because the machine lets you know if an over vote has occurred and if so, it kicks the ballot out.

The voter is then allowed to pick up another ballot and start over and that's good news to those who remember the bad press the county received 4 years ago.

Elizabeth Brown, registered voter, said, "it makes you angry because the votes weren't counted properly. If you take time out of your busy schedule and go to vote. Your vote should count.”

Grady James, registered voter, said, "It made me feel real bad, because I had voted and mine could have been thrown out. But I work the polls this year, so I know how it works.”

Knight says during the Aug. 31 primary election, there was a voting error where one person "over-voted," but that person did not bother to fill out another ballot.