Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 21, 2014

Close Calls

With some primary election races lost by a handful of votes, candidates face deadlines to recanvass, recount or contest results

Somerset —

Several close contests in Tuesday’s Republican primary election could result in requests to recanvass votes cast in these tight races. 
It’s almost a sure thing Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock, upset by a razor-thin six votes by Somerset businessman Steve Kelley, will ask the Pulaski County Board of Elections to take another look at totals from the county’s 56 precincts and absentee votes.
“I probably will (request a recanvass) ... everybody expects me to,” Bullock said Wednesday afternoon.
The race for county judge-executive was a cliffhanger. The lead changed several times Tuesday night as the contest was tabulated and shown on a big screen at the county clerk’s office. Fifty-five of the 56 precincts had been tabulated with Bullock maintaining a slight lead.
Suddenly it was discovered one of two cassettes was still in a voting machine at Bourbon East 10E. Board of Elections member Rick Barker was dispatched to Southern Elementary School to get the cassette from the machine at the precinct. Each precinct has two voting machines –– a federally mandated voting machine for physically challenged voters and an optical scanner into which marked paper ballots are inserted and read.
The cassette from 10E, inserted into the main tabulating computer in the clerk’s office, flashed final results on the big screen. Kelley jumped ahead, upsetting Bullock by six votes.
In a constabulary contest, James Mayfield defeated incumbent Richard L. New in the 4th Magisterial District by seven votes. New, the incumbent constable, said Wednesday afternoon that “I really don’t know what to do ... I guess I’ll just let it go as it is.”
Next closest countywide race was in the nine-candidate contest for jailer. David Moss edged second-place Jeff R. Burton by a 29-vote margin. Burton could not be contacted Wednesday afternoon.

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