Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 9, 2013

Recount on way for school vote

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — An election margin of a single vote now has Garvin County officials preparing for a recount in last week’s race for a Wynnewood School Board seat.

Candidate Terry Brown is now challenging the results from the April 2 election which finished with Donnie Rollings claiming the win by a 277 to 276 vote count.

A hearing scheduled for next week will not only determine if Brown gets his recount but allow a judge to look at his challenge of possible irregularities in the election itself.

“There is going to be a recount for sure,” said Election Board Secretary Doylene Cunningham.

In his petition for a recount Brown is requesting that all ballots be counted again in a total of four Wynnewood area precincts, including one near I-35 and state Highway 29, the Bosa Center in PV, Wynnewood’s senior citizen center and a fire station in Walker.

“We were anticipating the recount,” Cunningham said, adding Brown asked on Friday about the cost and process needed for a recount and a challenge on alleged voter irregularities.

Literally minutes from the Election Board office in Pauls Valley closing for the weekend on Friday Brown returned to make his challenges official.

The Election Board secretary believes the irregularities might be a simple case of a couple of ballots being cast properly with the exception of the precinct number listed on the ballots.

“We don’t expect it to effect the outcome, but that’s up to the judge to decide that,” she said.

“I don’t see anything was done wrong by this office.”

At the same time Cunningham certainly understands why any candidate would challenge the results after losing by only one vote.

“It was one vote,” she said. “I can see someone wanting a recount.”

Brown’s reason for alleging the irregularities was listed in his petition.

“Due to the outcome of the election being determined by one vote, the mathematical uncertainty of the precincts (Bosa Center and Wynnewood senior citizen center), both involving the irregularity of the number of ballots cast and number of signatures, is the reason for the petition,” Brown stated in petition documents.

A hearing to look closer at Brown’s challenges for a recount and alleged irregularities is now scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. start on Monday, April 15 in a Garvin County District courtroom.

Set to oversee the hearing is District Judge Greg Dixon.

“We’re getting out paperwork together and ready to present information at the hearing,” Cunningham said.

“We’re contacting people we need for a manual recount if that’s ordered by the judge.”

In an election on the way a runoff vote for a seat on Pauls Valley’s city council will come on May 14.

The runoff race pits incumbent Hal Blevins against challenger Zac Brumley.

Voters needing to get their registration in order before the election have a deadline of April 19.

The last day to submit a formal request for mailed absentee ballots is May 8, while in-person absentee voting comes on May 10 and May 13.