Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Election results now final

Election 2011

Election 2011

April 12, 2011

The votes are final — and in some cases — darn close, too.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew on Monday released official totals from last week’s city/school board elections after county commissioners “canvassed” the ballots, which is a process that involves ruling on whether provisional ballots cast at the polls should be counted.

In Baldwin City, every vote ended up being precious. In the race for Baldwin City school board position No. 2, Sandy Chapman ended up defeating Ed Kite by one vote: 437 to 436. In the race for the Baldwin City Council, Shane Starkey won by two votes over Kenneth Hayes: 243 to 241.

“It just goes to show that there are definitely situations where one or two people can make the difference in an election,” Shew said.

Shew said his office reviewed 113 provisional ballots that were cast during the election. Provisional ballots are cast when a voter shows up at the polls, but poll workers don’t have a record of the person being registered to vote. The provisional ballots aren’t counted on election night, but rather are researched by Shew and his staff to determine whether the person is a registered voter.

In this election, 99 of the 113 ballots were counted. Shew said the main reason for provisional ballots was that people simply went to the wrong polling place, usually because they have moved within the county and didn’t change their voter registration information.

The main reason ballots are rejected is because a person isn’t registered at all, is registered in a different county or, as was the case with two ballots this election, the voter is dead.

Shew said this year that two people cast advanced ballots, but then died before Election Day. State law says those votes can’t be counted.

“The way the law reads,” Shew said, “you have to be alive on Election Day.”

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