No change in JP 7 runoff numbers following recount
Election Commission tweaks meeting guidelines, addresses ‘ minor problems’
Residents with business before the Crittenden County Election Commission will now get five minutes to address the board instead of two.
The commission adopted some new revised meeting guidelines at its April meeting and also reviewed some minor problems which came up during the election.
“We adopted some guidelines typical of what you would see at a city council meeting so we can better maintain order for future meetings,” said commission chairman Frank Barton. “We’re going to do five minutes for people to speak. And we reviewed what we called four minor problems and we reviewed them.”
Barton said during the early vote a ballot was cast but no voter’s name was recorded on the list of voters for that particular poll location.
“There was a ballot cast for West Memphis High School. But there was no voter signature on the list at West Memphis High School,” Barton said. “So something looked out of whack. We knew about it when it happened.”
Barton said it was determined that one of the poll workers inadvertently gave the voter a ballot for the incorrect polling location.
Upon review, the total number of people voting during early vote matched the total number of ballots used.
“We had one too many names at one polling location and no name at one polling location,” Barton said. “So, we determined the error was clerical in nature and it did not effect the outcome.”
Another issue which came up was that some ballots were not initialed on the back as required by law. “We reviewed the paper ballots cast and found that some were not initialed and some were,” Barton said.
“A review of the voting list book that you have to sign showed that the total number of paper ballots voted matches the number of signatures on the book. Again, we found it was clerical in nature and did not affect the election.”
Barton said the commission determined that they would put in some more training measures for poll workers to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The commission also reviewed a complaint by Kyle Watkins who lost to Ronnie Marconi in the County Quorum Court Justice of the Peace District 7 race.
Watkins complained that only three poll workers worked the polling place instead of four.
“We reviewed the statute and determined that the number of poll workers present complied with the law,” Barton said. “So no resolution was required.”
Watkins outpolled Marconi on election day 128127 but was forced into a runoff which he lost 74 to 52.
A recount requested by Watkins, however, did not change the outcome.
Barton said Watkins also complained that the ballot stubs were not present or available for inspection.
The commission informed Watkins that the stubs were turned over to the county treasurer as required by law and were not part of the recounting of the ballots.
Barton said Watkins had seven days from when the commission certified the results to file a lawsuit in circuit court and has not filed one.
“What we certified was one additional vote than we did on election night and that was for a provisional ballot,” Barton said. “It did not change the result at all.”
By Mark Randall