500 missing PBC ballots found, forcing recounts in close races

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - While trying to recount an extremely close race between two candidates in the Palm Beach County Schools District 6 race late Tuesday night, 500 uncounted absentee ballots were found to have been uncounted, elections officials admitted Wednesday.

Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said "human error" left the ballots uncounted. What this means is that races with a roughly 500-vote margin will have to be recounted. Bucher says the process can be completed within the mandatory deadline to provide official results by Sunday.

"To assure total accuracy of the absentee vote totals, a recount of all absentee ballots, including the previously uncounted ones, is being undertaken," Bucher said Wednesday.

In addition to the Palm Beach County School Board race between Marcia Andrews and Dean Grossman, with a margin of less than 100 votes, six other local races are affected. They are:

  • Indian Trail Seat 1
  • Lake Worth City Commissioner District 2
  • Lake Worth City Commissioner District 4
  • Journeys End Community Development District
  • Highland Beach Question

Bucher also said the problem affects the Riviera Beach Marina issue, which has a spread of 652 votes, with 4,439 in favor and 3,787 opposed. It's not immediately clear why that race is affected since the spread is greater than 500 votes.

Palm Beach County elections have been marred by problems in the past, including the infamous "hanging chads" problem that held up the 2000 presidential election, which ultimately had to be settled by the US Supreme Court. Bucher is Palm Beach County's third elected elections supervisor since the troubled 2000 election.

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