Bennett: Considering recount option

Published 11:24 pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mayoral runner-up Leroy Bennett said Thursday he likely will request a recount of the ballots in the election for the top position on City Council.

Incumbent Mayor Linda T. Johnson was declared the winner of the race by a 326-vote margin over Bennett. Only four-fifths of one percent of the vote separated them.

“I am looking at my options,” he said. “I’m being encouraged by a lot of my supporters that I should consider (a recount).”

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A third contender, Art Bredemeyer, received 4,419 votes for almost 11 percent of the vote. Bennett’s percentage was 44.04 percent, while Johnson’s was 44.84 percent.

The apparent losing candidate is entitled to a recount by state law if the top two candidates are separated by less than 1 percent of the votes cast just for those two. About nine-tenths of a percent of the votes just for Johnson and Bennett separate the two.

Bennett has 10 days from the day the results are certified to file his petition with the Circuit Court.

A recount is a lengthy process that involves hand-counting paper ballots and running optical-scan ballots back through the tabulator.

The cost of the recount would be assessed to Bennett if Johnson is again declared the winner, or to the city if Bennett is declared the winner.