A bundle of 77 mailed absentee ballots — accidentally left out from the count on Election Day — was discovered at the Teton County Clerk’s office Wednesday morning, bringing the vote total in Tuesday’s specific purpose excise tax election from 6,267 to 6,344.
The additional votes didn’t alter the election’s results: nine of 10 ballot propositions passed, with planning for the Teton County Courthouse the one item voters didn’t approve. That means the 1% sales tax will remain in place until $75 million is collected to fund projects such as an expanded Rec Center, wildlife crossings and fire trucks.
Senior Deputy Clerk Kellie Dickerson said the 77-ballot bundle was spotted in the vault where ballots are stored.
“The bundle was safe and sound in the safe,” she said. “It just didn’t make it across our hall where it needed to go.”
The 77 ballots bumped voter turnout from 48% to closer to 49%.
Dickerson noted that election results are not final until after the canvassing board — comprised of clerk’s office staff and political party chairs — meets in the days following an election to review results and certify totals are accurate.
These procedures are in place to ensure all ballots are counted, she said, and “our election procedures worked exactly as they should.”
“That’s why we really scrutinize everything and we look back through everything, and we check the computer totals versus the physical totals of what we have,” Dickerson said. “We got it fixed within a couple of hours. We just amended those totals, everything worked great.”
The canvassing board ruled the results official Thursday afternoon. Complete and final results are available at TetonWyo.org/268/election-results.