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Elections director explains ballot blunder

READ MORE: Elections director explains ballot blunder

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We made it through Election Day, but not all counties had a smooth day. New Hanover made news across the state by using the wrong ballots at some voting locations. The problem happened at two precincts. Election officials say they were suppose to receive a specific ballot, but instead they received a different one.

The locations in question were Freedom Baptist Church on North College Road and the Northeast Regional Library on Military Cutoff Road.

New Hanover County Elections Director Bonnie Williams says the problem was incorrect ballots. Freedom Baptist was suppose to have ballot No. 1, which had the District 18 House race, but instead voters received ballot No. 3, which had the District 19 House race and the District 5C Superior Court Judge race.

As for the library, voters were suppose to get ballot No. 4 with the District 16 House race and the District 5B Superior Court Judge race. But just like the other precinct they received ballot No. 3.

"The wrong ballot had been assigned to be packed for the chief judge to pick up," Williams said. "This happened when we created the ballot distribution list for packing purposes, to pack the ballots for the judges to pick up. I don't know if a typo occurred in the list or what happened. I just know it happened. It's unfortunate that it happened, but it happened."

The problem was caught when the machine did not accept the paper ballot. Williams says the problem was taken care of early in the day but still affected nearly 300 ballots.

"Everything on that ballot will be counted with the exception of North Carolina House and the Superior Court district, because those two contest are not the correct districts for those precincts," Williams said.

New Hanover County also experienced a problem with their results link on their webpage. Williams says it was a technical issue; it just so happened that what could go wrong, did go wrong.

Williams says despite those election day troubles there was a notable accomplishment. Forty-three percent of registered voters cast ballots. The elections office was expecting about 30 percent.

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