Official results: Easterling wins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 1999

Certified runoff election results show Lynwood Easterling edging James West by just 91 votes for the Democratic nomination for District 5 supervisor.

West said he has not decided whether to contest the results, but he is throwing his support to independent Eddie Jones in the Nov. 2 general election. West has 10 days to contest the election results, said election commission Chairman Bob Barrett. If the election is contested, an independent judge will be appointed to oversee the recount.

In what he said was otherwise a clean race, West said Thursday he thought Easterling made one error: political ads that said &uot;Alert&uot; and &uot;This is your last chance for Adams County.&uot;

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&uot;That’s not the kind of message we need,&uot; West said. &uot;Adams County needs a change of heart.&uot;

West, who had expressed disappointment Wednesday that race played a part in the election, did not elaborate on why he thought the ads were erroneous. &uot;I think everybody pretty much knows what that meant,&uot; he said.

When the lines for District 5 were redrawn, it was called &uot;an influence district,&uot; said Deputy Circuit Clerk Larry Gardner. At the time the lines were redrawn, after the 1990 Census, the makeup was about 52 percent white and 48 percent black.

Easterling said he did not understand West’s objection to his ads. &uot;He’s reading something that’s absolutely not there,&uot; Easterling said, adding that the &uot;Alert&uot; was a play on his business, which sells alarm systems.

Easterling said he carried the Washington precinct, his home precinct, which he said was made up of both black and white voters.

Election results were certified Thursday morning after election officials worked all day Wednesday to verify affidavit and absentee ballots. Election officials had to rerun ballots for the Oakland precinct because of a discrepancy between the number of ballots run through the machine versus the number of signatures of people who voted, Gardner said. The problem was a mistake by a poll worker who did not finish entering the names of absentee voters, he said.

Gardner said it was essential to solve the problem because the election was so close.

&uot;If the box was contaminated, we would have had to throw out those votes, and it would have altered the outcome,&uot; Gardner said.