Vote recount complete

Published 1:00 am Saturday, October 27, 2007

VIDALIA — The narrow lead Sheriff Randy Maxwell won re-election with in the Oct. 20 primary was narrowed a little more Thursday.

At the close of polls last Saturday, Maxwell led contender Glenn Lipsey by 22 votes.

After a recount of the 121 mail-in absentee votes, that margin was reduced to 21 votes.

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This election is the first time Registrar of Voters Golda Ensminger has ever had to recount the ballots, she said.

The recount was completed by hand, and was done three times, Ensminger said.

“We pulled out all of the ballots for sheriff and counted them, and then we handed them to the person questioning the (official) count to allow them to recount,” she said.

In all, there were six observers who kept count as the recount was being done, and all of them reached the same final count, Ensminger said.

The discrepancy between the election night number and the number reached Thursday could be attributed to a ballot scanner error, Ensminger said.

“The scanner shot two ballots through at the same time on a few different occasions,” she said. “It’s possible someone put the wrong ballot back in the scanner to be scanned.”

Though there was a one vote difference in the final count, Lipsey said he had not expected much of a change in the final numbers from Thursday’s recount.

“This is just part of a procedure we have to do to contest the election,” he said.

Lipsey’s campaign has until 4:30 p.m. Monday to file a civil suit officially contesting the election.