Archived Story

Recount less likely in mayor’s race

Published 10:07pm Monday, November 12, 2012

After a standard review of vote totals, the difference between the two top candidates for mayor increased to more than 1 percent, making Councilman Leroy Bennett ineligible to demand a recount after losing to incumbent Mayor Linda T. Johnson.

The new totals are 18,392 for Johnson and 18,005 for Bennett, a difference of 387 — equivalent to 1.06 percent of the votes for the top two candidates.

The final tabulations come after provisional votes were added in and results reported on Election Day were reviewed and verified in a standard process known as the “canvass.”

“We were as careful as we could be,” Electoral Board Chairman Kenneth Carpenter said. “In one place we found 50 votes extra for Linda where there was an obvious mistake on the statement of results. The (different number) was plainly on the printout.”

Johnson gained 108 votes as a result of the canvass and provisional votes, while Bennett gained only 47.

Carpenter said Bennett still may be able to request a recount but might have to bear the cost up front. If the margin had been less than 1 percent, he would have had to pay only if Johnson was again declared the winner. Otherwise, the city would have paid the extra expenses.

“Right now, I want to talk to some of my supporters so they’ll know exactly what the numbers I’ve heard,” Bennett said Monday night after hearing the new numbers. “I want to hear what their recommendations are and then I’ll make a decision. I’ve had so many supporters that have called me with concerns and felt like I should do a recount.”

He said he would likely make a decision Tuesday.

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