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Multiple Recounts Possible in Christian County Following Elections

Scott Harvey

It appears at least one recount may take place in Christian County following several close election results on Tuesday. 

Brad Cole edged out Ralph Phillips for county sheriff by just four votes, according to unofficial totals. The count was 3,275 to 3,271, for 33 percent of the vote apiece. Fellow candidates Keith Mills and Ken Lovell received 23 and 11 percent of the vote, respectively.

Phillips, in a posting to his campaign Facebook page, declared that he is not out of it yet.

“I will be asking for a recount. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you all. God Bless.”

County Clerk Kay Brown is expected to certify the results on Friday.

Chief Deputy Clerk Norma Ryan tells KSMU, “If anybody wants a recount, whether it’s a candidate or an issue… they have to go to the circuit judge and request the circuit judge sue the county clerk to reopen the election and do either a hand count or a machine count. And they have within 30 days to do that after citification.”

Meanwhile, 20 votes was the difference in citizens rejecting the city of Nixa’s proposal to increase sale taxes for parks and recreation.

Communications Director Jill Finney says that a recount is unlikely, noting Mayor Brian Steele intends to recommend against such action. That’s because the same tax measure failed in April 2014 by just four votes, and a recount upheld the results.

“It’s pretty clear our citizens are not supporting that at this time, even though it’s been a narrow margin,” Finney said.

The Nixa City Council will have the final say on if a recount should be requested. It is not expected to make that decision when it meets tonight, according to Finney.

In Missouri, if the final results of an election are within 1 percent, a candidate can request a recount. It then has to be approved by a circuit judge.

Deputy Clerk Ryan says a recount could also be requested for both the Chadwick and Selmore elections, where vote totals were close but outside of a 1 percent difference. She says the circuit judge would still have to determine if the recount requests are justified.

The ballot issue for rural fire protection in Chadwick was approved by six votes, 102-96, and the Selmore Road District tax was rejected by two votes, 95-93.

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