Election results finalized: Davis stays mayor of Humboldt; Peters is elected to two posts

A question remains if Iola Council member Mark Peters can serve a dual role on the college board of trustees. County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said an attorney general's opinion shows a potential conflict of interest.

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November 10, 2021 - 10:22 AM

Allen County Commissioners, from left, Jerry Daniels, David Lee and Bruce Symes open provisional ballots during the official canvass of the Nov. 2 election. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

A canvass of last week’s election answered the question of who will be Humboldt mayor — Nobby Davis — but also raised the question of whether Mark Peters can serve on both the Iola Council and ACC board of trustees.

County commissioners conducted their official canvass of the votes Tuesday morning. 

The detailed canvass showed Davis will keep his seat, with an official vote count of 175 to Cynthia Hollinsworth’s 167.

Hollinsworth, though, also was re-elected to the Humboldt City Council, so she’ll be able to remain in city government.

Another close race in Moran was confirmed in Tuesday’s canvass.

Three seats were up for election at the Marmaton Valley school board. Incumbent Bill Bigelow easily won re-election. The other two candidates, Joe Sutton and Jackie Walls, tied with 73 votes apiece.

There was some question, though, as to whether the 80 write-in votes would be enough to overcome that margin.

It wasn’t.

Two people earned a significant amount of write-in votes, but not nearly enough. Michelle Meiwes launched a write-in campaign, receiving 42 votes. Kenneth McVey received 21.

Sutton and Walls each picked up another vote from provisional ballots.

Allen County Clerk Sherrie Riebel talks to commissioners about the canvass process and how to handle provisional ballots. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

ONE question, though, still remains.

Mark Peters, an incumbent Iola Council member who retained his seat, also ran as a write-in candidate for one of three available seats on the Allen Community College Board of Trustees.

Jessica Thompson and Jenny Spillman, declared candidates, handily won, while Peters received 37 write-in votes and Roger Campbell received 22.

But County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said her research indicates it would be a conflict of interest for Peters to serve on both the city council and the college board of trustees. She cited an attorney general’s opinion on the matter, and believes Peters will need to decide which post he wants to keep.

Peters, though, has said he believes he can serve in both positions.

Ultimately, that question will need to be resolved. His term on the ACC board begins in January.

If Peters were to resign one of the seats, it would be filled by that governing body.

For example, if he resigns from the ACC board even before taking office, the trustees would pick a replacement. It would not automatically go to the next highest vote-getter.

Tuesday’s process included a review of provisional ballots to determine which were qualified ballots, such as if someone changed a name or address but hadn’t yet updated voter registration information.

Riebel reviewed the process of the audit, including safety measures such as always having at least two people transport ballots.

A committee also conducted an audit of Ward 2 in the Humboldt mayor’s race and a school board race, hand-counting the ballots to make sure results matched the tally from the clerk’s office. That race was selected in a random draw, Riebel said. The committee included two Democrats and two Republicans.

“There are a lot of steps to ensure the integrity of an election,” Commission Chairman Bruce Symes noted.

The total voter turnout was about 15.7%. Humboldt’s city wards had the highest turnouts, with 25% in Ward 1 and 28% in Ward 2.

RESULTS:

Bassett mayor: Larry Wayne Crawford 

Basset council (five): Carol L. Crawford, Mark Dozier, Patricia L. Dozier, Christopher L. Valentine and Sheryl L. Valentine.

Elsmore mayor: Brenda Boyle (write-in)

Elsmore council (five): Alex Henderson, Karen Price, Lorraine Clarence Price, Chad Starliper, Nancy Starliper (all write-ins)

Gas mayor: Kenneth Baker

Gas council (two): Mark Henry and Richard Morrison

LaHarpe council (three): Cynthia L. Carr, Ronald Knavel, Sr. and Sharlyn A. Thompson

Moran mayor: Jerry D. Wallis

Moran council (two): Corliss Lynes and James Mueller

Savonburg mayor: Aaron Wilson (write-in)

Savonburg council (five): Charles E. Leckrone, Leon Cuppet, David Janssen, Kenneth Sexton and Glen Wolfe (all except Leckrone were write-ins)

Humboldt mayor: Nobby Davis

Humboldt council: Drue Barton, Cynthia Hollinsworth, Sara Hart, Kent Goodner (write-in)

Iola mayor: Steven C. French

Iola council (four): Josiah D. D’Albini, Joel Wicoff, Nicholas Lohman, Mark Peters

Allen Community College: Jessica Thompson, Jenny Spillman, Mark Peters (write-in)

USD 256: Bill Bigelow, Joe Sutton, Jackie Walls

USD 257: Mandey Coltrane, Robin Griffin-Lohman, John D. Wilson

USD 258: Joyce A. Allen, Nathan Ellison, Ashley Johnson

Southwind Extension District (two): Carol L. Crawford and Miles Mentzer.

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