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Politics

Election Recount Upcoming for Nixa, Christian County to Foot the Bill

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Ballot recount via Chuck Olson on Flickr

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/election-recount-upcoming-nixa-christian-county-foot-bill_83682.mp3

More than 3,000 ballots from last month’s election in Nixa will be double checked next week concerning a Capitol Improvement Sales Tax initiative. Our Shane Franklin has more on the recount process, which this time will be done by hand. 

Jill Finney, Communications Director for the City of Nixa, says this recount is absolutely necessary.

“We had to do it. It’s just too close, we just had to make sure our t’s were crossed and our I’s were dotted, and make sure we knew exactly what the community wanted with this,” said Finney.

Finney says the vote for the ½ cent Capitol Improvement Sales Tax- intended to pay for parks, road improvements, and new sidewalks- needed a supermajority to pass. The electronic tally of votes indicated 56.98 percent approval, less than half a percentage point off from their goal of 57.14 percent.

She says it was within 4 or 5 votes of passing. Because the vote was so close, Nixa petitioned Christian County for a hand count, to ensure no mistakes were made. The county accepted their petition, and the recount will take place Tuesday, May 13.

The recount will be conducted by 16 poll judges, chosen by the county. Finney says there are around 3,000 ballots to count, and the process should take all of about eight hours. During this time the poll judges will be sequestered, and compensated $10 an hour.

This could amount to around $1,280 in time plus the additional food expense.

Finney explains how the pollsters were chosen.

“They have to live within the city limits of Nixa. We tried to get half Democrat and half Republican. I think that we were short two Democrats, so our city attorney asked the courts if we could substitute with two other republicans, because it’s not really a Democrat-Republican issue, and they allowed that.  They also have to be registered voters, and worked as the election judges in the election,” said Finney.

Finney says she doesn’t believe an “error” occurred with the electronic voting machines, but the city is curious if it is the case that voters didn’t fill out the ballot correctly by darkening the entire circle. She says if a voter put an X or a check mark, the machine would have trouble reading the vote.

With a hand count, anything that is clearly marked yes or no will be counted. So as long as the poll judges can see the intent of the voter, the vote will be counted.

Finney says the city should know the results on Tuesday, and no matter which way it goes, she expressed appreciation for the citizens’ patience with the issue.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.