Despite issues with vote counting, the Go Forward Pine Bluff sales tax initiative was approved by voters on Tuesday.
As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, 3,831 votes for the initiative had been counted, compared to 1,708 against.
Jefferson County Election Commisioner Stu Soffer said that “we know we have a 40-50 vote disparity. It does not affect the outcome of the election. Tomorrow we’re going to bring in an erm operator, and we’re going to run the electronics completely, and we’re also going to do it with an auditor.”
Soffer said he manually added up the votes.
“There’s no doubt that the issue passed by almost 2,000 votes more,” he said.
Unofficial results announced at 7:30 p.m. had votes for the economic improvement tax leading by roughly 1,800 votes to approximately 750 against. But Soffer said election auditors had been counting the votes wrong, and would have to go back and start again.
The chaotic turn of events appeared to be the fruit of a long-festering territorial dispute between the majority-Republican Jefferson County Election Commission and Jefferson County Judge Hank Wilkins, a Democrat.
Election commissioners Soffer and Mike Adam rejected Wilkins’ pick for election coordinator, Will Fox, amid a series of disputes that also involved pay. As a result, Soffer and Adam oversaw the election themselves. Fox was present at the election commission headquarters Tuesday night, but he did not work with Soffer or Adam.
“I’m alright with it,” Adam said a little after 9 p.m. “We have someone, if we need to, on the other…
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