The ballots, mostly from Republican voters in Fayette County, were missing bar codes that typically help facilitate electronic scanning.
“What we know at this point in time is that a bar code that’s required to allow the paper ballots to be scanned at the polling places was missing,” state Rep. Matthew Dowling, a Republican, told The Epoch Times.
George Rattay, chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Party, was present when the issues began around 7 p.m. on May 18. He said nobody initially knew what the problem was. He and others went to the county Bureau of Elections and found out it was a bar code issue.
“The majority of them were Republican ballots,” he told The Epoch Times.
A bureau spokeswoman declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
A hand recount was taking place on May 20, 2021.
The county said in a statement that the bureau identified and was addressing “a printing issue” with some of the primary election ballots and that the issue was affecting all parties.
“Alternative solutions to the scanning issues were already established and are being enacted. Election officials are currently in direct contact with the judges of elections at all precincts. All judges were trained on these procedures prior to the election,” the county said.
“Every voter will have an opportunity to vote at their polling place. Election officials will ensure every vote is counted.”
Republican county officials helped obtain a judicial order that directed a hand count of all unscanned ballots.
Dowling, state Rep. Ryan Warner, and state Sen. Pat Stefano have issued a right-to-know request seeking records involving ballot and voting machine testing, as well as financial records, including contracts, relating to the printing of ballots and any reports of ballot malfunctions.
“We do want to provide transparency and let our constituents know how this blunder happened,” Dowling told The Epoch Times, adding that the county has not yet said why the barcode was missing on some ballots.