Iowa county didn't report 5,842 ballots in 2016 election

Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 09, 2017

"Human error" is being cited for the reason why officials in Dallas County, Iowa did not count nearly 6,000 votes from last November's general election, The Des Moines Register reported

A total of 5,842 ballots, which represents roughly 13 percent of all votes in the county, were not reported to the Iowa Secretary of State. The Board of Elections told the Register that the messing ballots did not flip any races. 

All 5,842 ballots were from absentee ballots. 

Board of Elections officials did not recognize the error until Feb. 1. 

“It does not appear that it was willful,” Dawn Williams, the elections director at the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, told the Register. “If they were going to willfully do something, they would have made it make a difference. It appears from my knowledge of this situation and my experience that it was a human error."

In the presidential race, Donald Trump picked up 2,780, compared to 2,587 for Democrat Hillary Clinton. The additional ballots were added to Trump's victory margin of 147,000 votes.

The Secretary of State will not criminally prosecute any county officials. Instead, the state will issue a "technical violation" to the county board, requiring it to take additional training.