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Hudson: Election ‘significantly affected’ by system malfunctions / December 10, 2015
(The following statement was issued Wednesday by Chris Hudson, recent candidate for Sheriff, regarding the Nov. 3 election in Halifax County. It has been lightly edited at the candidate’s request to correct a typographical error. — Ed)

To whom it may concern:

Hello everyone, I am Christopher Hudson a candidate for Sheriff in the Nov. 3, election for Halifax County. On the night of Nov. 3 I was standing in the circuit court clerk’s office as the election results started coming in. I immediately started to wonder what was going on when the results started coming in. I was getting 12 votes to the incumbents 358 votes and so on. After all the results came in I had 968 votes to the incumbents 5,475 and the third candidates 2,106 votes. I made a phone call to the local voter registrar’s office and spoke to Ms. Harding. I advised Ms. Harding that I felt something was not right and that I wanted to launch an investigation into the matter. Ms. Harding advised me to call the state board of elections in Richmond and provided me the phone number. When I called the state board, I was referred to the equipment division. At this time I knew of one precinct (Republican Grove) having issues with the voting machines throwing votes to the upper candidate. When I described this issue to the equipment division, I was referred to my local board to file a formal complaint. I called Ms. Harding back and advised her that I would like to file a formal complaint on this election. Ms. Harding advised me to report to the local electoral board meeting on Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. On Nov. 4, I advised the local electoral board that I felt the numbers were off in the election and that I wish to file a complaint to launch an investigation. At that point I was asked what I wished to be done. I stated that I wanted to have the calibration checked on all machines that were used on Nov. 3. The board agreed to check the calibration but stated it would be the beginning of the week (Nov. 9) before they could start due to them reviewing the tapes. During this time frame I was receiving numerous complaints from people having issues voting. Some of the precincts that I was getting complaints from were Republican Grove, Black Walnut, Midway, Dan River, Mt. Carmel and Courthouse. Around Nov. 9, Ms. Harding called me back advising me that she could not touch the machines for thirty (30) days after the election. I stated that was fine however I still wanted the calibration checked.

On Dec. 4, Ms. Harding contacted me advising that she was starting on the calibration checks. I reported to Ms. Harding’s office to watch the first few machines since the local electoral board insisted on me being present. On Dec. 7, I reported back to Ms. Harding’s office so she could continue the calibration checks. As of Dec. 7, at 1:50 p.m. 22 machines of 51 used on Nov. 3 had been checked for calibration. Of those 22 machines, 12 would not calibrate and 11 of the 12 machines were giving the vote to the top candidate when selecting the middle candidate. With this being said my name was the middle candidate on the ballot for sheriff. With just these 12 machines malfunctioning and the locations that they were placed at, is enough to significantly affect the outcome of the election. By Dec. 8 at 11:03 a.m, all 52 of the machines had been completed with an additional 10 more machines found to be malfunctioning. I would like to contest this election due to equipment malfunction that occurred.

The following list includes the machine numbers and the location of the machines that malfunctioned. All of the machines except #12 at South Boston West was giving the votes to the upper candidate when selecting the middle candidate. # 12 was almost a half of screen off meaning if you wanted to select a name at the top of the page you had to touch the screen at the bottom of the page.

#2 Union, #5 and # 13 Republican Grove, #7 Clays Mill, #12 and #42 South Boston West, #27 and # 34 Dan River , #4 and #28 Midway, #54 Courthouse, #17 and #21 Vernon Hill, #32 and #31 South Boston East, #41 Sinai, #1 Black Walnut, #46 Clover, #48 Hyco, #51 Mt. Carmel, #37 Meadville, #47 Childrey. This is 17 of the 21 voting precincts in Halifax County that have been affected by the machine malfunctions. These precincts cover a large number of our county’s voting population; therefore I believe that the outcome of this election could be significantly affected by the machines that malfunctioned on Nov. 3.

Christopher S. Hudson

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