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One precinct overlooked in election night count
After discovering one precinct was not included in total counts, Ringgold County Auditor Amanda Waske requested an administrative recount for both Mount Ayr precincts, in accordance with Iowa Code section 50.50.
In a letter to the Ringgold County Board of Supervisors, Waske stated that a flash drive from the M1 precinct was inadvertently not accessed on election night and therefore the data from the flash drive was not uploaded November 7, 2023.
The error was discovered the morning after total counts were reported to the The Iowa Secretary of State, while completing the post-election balancing process. “We know the number of ballots that go out,” explained Waske, “that needs to match the number of ballots that comes in, but the number didn’t match.”
The Ringgold County board of supervisors held a special meeting on Thursday, November 9 at 3 p.m. to consider the administrative recount.
City of Mount Ayr
Prior to the recount, unofficial totals for the City of Mount Ayr indicated that Chandra Poore, Jessica Murphy, and Rachael Rumple would be representing the city council. However, in a close race for the third Mount Ayr city council seat, Mike Wik edged out Rachael Rumple by 14 votes.
Final counts for the three seats on the Mount Ayr city council showed Chandra Poore receiving 378 votes, Jessica Murphy with 303 votes, and Michael Wik having 173 votes, to win the three seats. Rachael Rumple was close behind with 159 votes.
Prior to supervisor Steve Knapp making a motion to approve the recount, the board questioned whether candidates were aware of the recount request. “All candidates have been notified,” Waske stated. However, as of 1 p.m. on Friday, November 10, some candidates running for the Mount Ayr city council were unaware that a recount had taken place.
Mike Wik said “I received a call from Amanda Waske the morning after the unofficial count, letting me know the results from the [Mount Ayr] Legion had not been included, and a recount would be taking place.”
Rachael Rumple stated “I was not notified.”
Jessica Murphy also stated “no” she had not been notified.
Chandra Poore also stated “I was not officially notified, but I had heard through the grapevine that the outcome may have changed.”
The absentee ballot team was called in to recount ballots from both Mount Ayr precinct 1 and precinct 2 at the conclusion of the special board of supervisors meeting on Thursday, November 9. Nathan Nickle recounted the smaller precinct while Jerry Thornburg, and Brent Wurster recounted the larger precinct using electronic ballot machines.
The board of supervisors then canvassed the results of the November 7, 2023 city-school election at their regular meeting on Monday, November 13. The number of total ballots cast increased from 752 to 936, as 184 additional ballots were included in final totals, indicating a 28.64% voter turnout.
City of Kellerton
In a historic upset, results of the mayor and the third council seat for the City of Kellerton were unknown until Monday, November 13, because there were so many write-in votes.
In the race for Mayor, Thomas Giles received 30 votes. However, Rod Holmes also received 30 write-in votes, resulting in a tie.
The Kellerton city council race showed Jackelynn Giles (53 votes) and Rick Stark (36 votes) taking the first two seats, and the race for the third seat was tied with Kathy Comer Johnston and Thomas Joseph Mate each receiving 31 votes. The board of supervisors drew lots to determine the winners at their regular meeting on November 13.
“The fate of Kellerton is in our hands,” supervisor Steve Knapp stated as he drew the winning name from a basket in each race. Thomas Giles was drawn as the winning candidate for mayor, and Thomas Mate was drawn as the winner of the third council seat in Kellerton.
“Literally, every vote counts,” stated supervisor Colby Holmes.
Full election results can be found on the Iowa Secretary of
State website at: www.electionresults.iowa.gov