A razor-thin margin has evaporated to a dead heat in the ongoing Allen County Commission primary election race.
Jim Mueller, Moran, and Jerry Daniels, Humboldt, ended Tuesday’s primary vote count thinking Daniels held a one-vote lead in their bid to replace outgoing Dick Works in the First District.
However, election officials at the Allen County Clerk’s office failed to hand count five ballots that didn’t go through the electronic tabulation machine properly.
State law mandates those ballots be hand-counted separately, County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said.
“In all the hubbub Tuesday, I’d completely forgotten about those ballots,” Riebel told the Register Friday. “I didn’t think about it until the next morning.”
Riebel counted the additional ballots Wednesday morning. Unofficially, the additional votes left Mueller and Daniels tied, 252-252.
Riebel updated the results on the county’s website Wednesday.
There’s more to come.
When Allen County commissioners canvass the election results at 8 a.m. Monday, they’ll consider six provisional ballots, or those cast by voters whose ballots gave poll workers pause for one reason or another.
Mueller and Daniels are seeking the Republican nomination to replace Works, who announced earlier he would not seek re-election. The winner is a virtual certainty to win the seat in the November general election, because no Democrats filed.
The new commissioner will be seated in early January.
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