Election results officially certified

Election results officially certified

Runoff for Earle Council seat set for Tuesday

news@theeveningtimes.com

Crittenden County Election Commission has officially certified the results of the 2016 election, but for residents of Earle there will still be two more chances to go to the polls to settle races.

“We certified Monday night,” said Election Commission Chairwoman Dixie Carlson.

Carlson said the board reviewed the provisional ballots and only heard one appeal.

About 70 provisional ballots were cast on election day.

Residents could request a provisional ballot on election day at the polling location if their name did not appear on the voter lists or they could not verify who they were. However, voters who cast provisional ballots are required to appear before the election commission to make a case as to why it should be counted.

Carlson said they only ended up counting one provisional vote.

“We had one person,” Carlson said. “There was a disconnect between the clerk’s office and the early voting. The clerk’s office said she voted. But she was not on the voter list.”

One local race is headed to a runoff which will be held on Tuesday, November 29.

Sarah Johnson and Tyrone Hurst will be vying for the Ward 4 Seat 2 position on the Earle City Council.

Hurst outpolled incumbent Johnson 90 to 69 in the three way race. Robert Udell received 50 votes.

Early voting in that race ends on Monday.

Polls will open at 7:30 a.m. at St. Luke Baptist Church in Earle and close at 7:30 p.m.

Earle residents will also need to elect a new mayor.

Voters recalled Mayor Carolyn Jones whose term in office was marked by controversy and poor relations

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with the city council.

Earle City Council held a special meeting Tuesday and passed an ordinance officially declaring a vacancy and also one calling for a special election which will be held in early 2017.

The council appointed Councilman Robert Malone to act as interim mayor until the election.

City Treasurer Cynthia Conner said there is a great sense of relief on the council now that Jones has been removed from office.

“Hopefully we can move the city forward now,” Conner said. “It was stressful for everybody.”

Conner said Jones was constantly trying to provoke a confrontation.

“She would say mean and rude things,” Conner said.

“She harassed everybody.

Nobody should have to work under those conditions. I’m just looking forward to getting business done where there isn’t a constant argument.”

Jones was not at the November council meeting. Councilman Charlie Young agreed that the meetings will be a lot better without Jones as mayor.

“It was a peaceful meeting,” Young said.

Conner said the council asked City Attorney Davis Loftin to send a letter to Jones informing her that she has five days to turn her keys in to city hall.

“We’re waiting on her,” Conner said. “She still has the keys to the car. We haven’t been in her office.

That is locked. She still has the keys.”

By Mark Randall

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