Election results unchanged after recanvass

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PVA, 3rd District magistrate and constable races verified.

By James Roberts


The results remain the same. Election officials conducted a recanvass in three races Friday, with the vote totals unchanged.

Three candidates had requested a recanvass:

- Joey Wasson, who lost the PVA race to incumbent Julie Shields by 43 votes.

- Milford Lowe, who lost his 3rd District magistrate seat to challenger Tommy Corbin by 49 votes.

- Finn Watson, who lost by 90 votes to incumbent James M. Gaddis in the 3rd District constable race.

Lowe, Watson and Gaddis attended the recanvass. Other candidates sent representatives.

For the recanvass, election officials used tapes printed from each scanner and E-slate machine on Election Day and manually added the results to make sure they matched those from the electronic cards used to tabulate votes. They matched in all three races.

A recount, Carney said, entails counting all paper ballots by hand. Lowe asked about the process, but didn't say whether he would ask for a recount.

Recount requests must be made before a Circuit Court judge, Carney said, and the candidate making the request must pay the expense. Carney said a countywide recount would take about three days and cost about $1,500.

The deadline to request a recount was 4 p.m. Friday. No one requested a recount.

Carney wasn't surprised that the recanvass offered the same results as election night.

To ensure the system is functioning properly, Carney said, the Taylor County Board of Elections conducts an audit of voting results each election by counting ballots in one precinct to compare totals.

"We audit at least one race every time," he said. "It's been right every time."

However, because state law requires ballots to remain locked for 30 days, the Board hasn't yet performed an audit of this general election.

Still, some votes were not counted at all.

Carney said that votes from 19 people who voted by paper absentee ballots were not counted because those people did not sign the outer envelope containing their ballots. State law requires that signature to be present before those ballots can be counted.

Others requested an absentee ballot but never returned an application. Several more voters returned applications, but didn't return ballots.