By KAREN La PIERRE

klapierre@dailynews.net

Due to an error with the count of paper ballots, Ellis County commissioners learned Monday night a recount of those ballots submitted in early voting from the Nov. 4 election is necessary.

"After the busyness of the election, something came to light," said Donna Maskus, Ellis County clerk and election officer.

She told commissioners it was because the counting machine was not zeroed out before the election.

Commissioner Barbara Wasinger asked what steps would be taken to ensure this didn't happen again. Maskus said she was taking steps to make sure the mistake didn't recur, and the counter would be double-checked prior to the next election.

Commissioner Swede Holmgren was absent due to illness, so with a 2-0 vote, a motion was approved to authorize a recount of paper ballots.

The recount was to be done today. Maskus said she did not expect the results to change.

The commissioners will meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to canvass the recount at a special meeting.

In other business, on the recommedation of IT Director Mike Leiker, the commission approved a bid from Envision Technologies for $63,345 for pulling network and computer cabling in the Administrative Services Building. Leiker sought three bids, and the Envision bid followed all of the required specifications. The commission approved the bid.

In addition, Wasinger requested Leiker look into updating the county website to make it more user friendly.

Both commissioners were in agreement the website was difficult to use, to access information and nearly impossible for people to find what they need.

"We're not helping our customers," Wasinger said.

Leiker will research website improvements.