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Fairfax County rescanning 20,000 ballots due to technical issue

County officials say there is a paper trail of votes cast and staff are working on getting them rescanned.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Fairfax County is rescanning roughly 20,000 ballots from four early voting sites after there was a technical issue with a thumb drive the votes were stored on, according to Fairfax County's Director of Elections Scott Konopasek.

Konopasek said election officials were rescanning the ballots in paper form.

“As we were removing the electronic media from the scanning devices four machines had issues and the media was corrupted and we couldn’t recover the media, so we had to rescan the ballots," Konopasek said. "It took us a while to identify exactly which ballots corresponded to the removable media that could not be uploaded.”

The corrupted thumb drive held roughly 20,000 ballots from four early voting sites. Konopasek said the votes should be rescanned and counted by night's end.

The director of elections said paper ballots were the county's safety net and allowed officials to go back and figure out which machines had issues and when and then correlate that with the paper ballots.

“This is why people can have confidence in having paper ballots is because if there is anything happens that introduces any ambiguity or uncertainty about the returns you get to do this you get to rescan them and you get to make sure you do it right," Konopasek said.

Former President Donald Trump released a statement on the voter turnout in Virginia and mentioned Fairfax County's backing in the election.

"Early indications are that MAGA voters are turning out big for Glenn Youngkin, let’s see what happens," the former president said. "All eyes are on Fairfax, why the delay?"

As of 9:30 p.m., 7,100 of the 20,000 ballots were rescanned in the hour since the issue was reported. 

“Could I have anticipated and written a script of what somebody would have said about this or what people did say? Yeah that’s no secret," Konopasek said. "People have made no secret that their goal is to find some reason to call into question this election regardless of what it was regardless of where it was. All we can do is be transparent. we’re telling you the whole story. we haven’t hidden anything. as we’ve gone through this process we’ve had members from both parties side by side with us. I can tell Fairfax County voters and voters of Virginia they can trust this election. They can trust the results that we have published. We’ve done everything we can to make it secure, accurate, and transparent and we’ll continue to do so.”

According to Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner, Christopher E. Piper roughly six counties in Virginia experienced some ballot issues during voting hours on Election Day.

Piper said some precincts were in need of additional ballots and the supplemented ballots given to them were not machine-readable, which meant that they would have to be counted by hand. And in some counties like Chesterfield, ballots may need to be hand-counted due to the light-colored ink on ballots that may make it hard to read in the machines.

There was also a brief hiccup at a polling location in Loudoun County Tuesday after a ballot machine underwent technical issues. The problem frustrated several voters at Harper Park Middle School in Leesburg who either had to wait or return to cast their votes in person.

RELATED: Ballot machine jam briefly stalls operations at Loudoun County polling site

RELATED: Heavy voter turnout leads to ballot shortages in several counties in Virginia

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