Finch says she’ll seek recount in District 5 race

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2000

Election commission hopeful Karoline Finch said late Thursday she will seek a review of ballots in that District 5 race after the election is certified by officials.

Commission members spent the morning counting ballots that could not be scanned by election machines during Tuesday’s voting, and after all the votes were tallied, incumbent Gordon “Motor” Carr was the apparent winner by 11 votes.

“That’s still too close,” Finch said. “I have to do this for my peace of mind.”

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Initial returns indicated a 14-vote difference between the candidates with Carr ahead. When affidavit ballots were counted Wednesday, Finch pulled to within four votes, but the final tally put Carr ahead. Both are Republicans.

The total number of votes for Carr in unofficial returns is 2,020 to Finch’s 2,009.

The race will be declared official when election officials finish certifying races in every county district, said District 4 Commissioner James McMullin.

Finch said 12 affidavit ballots by voters claiming to have registered by motor voter were rejected by the commission. “If these 12 all voted for me, I could still win the election,” Finch said.

The motor voter law allows residents to register to vote at various state offices such as the driver’s license office, but the 12 voters who cast the rejected ballots are not listed on the county’s voter rolls.

“That’s not our fault,” McMullin said.

He said the 12 residents may have filled out the registration forms, but if they were not given to the Circuit Clerk’s Office to be added to the rolls, the vote has to be rejected.

The 12 ballots were not unsealed, so no one knows which candidate was selected.

Commissioners are paid $70 per day, but are limited to working no more than 65 days per year to maintain voter rolls and 35 more in years when there is a general election. That translates to a maximum of $7,000 per year.