County completes vote canvass

By Maura Wery

The sound of ballots bring run through a counting machine filled the Riley County Commission chambers Thursday as commissioners completed their canvass of last week’s election results. Members from the Riley County Clerk’s office gave the canvass board their recommendations on provisional ballots cast during the election. Out of 1,019 provisional ballots cast, they found 489 to be valid, 62 to be partially valid and 468 to be invalid.

Four reasons tended to be the most common in disqualification of almost 45 percent of the provisional ballots. Those four were residents voting when they were not registered, signatures that did not match the name on the ballot, people who had already voted electronically and then requested a paper ballot,  and people who did not provide any voter identification.

County Clerk Rich Vargo said that the number of voters who didn’t have voter ID was extremely low. Only four people came to the polls without identification during the presidential election, and Vargo said that during the primary there were no cases of people without proper ID’s.

Once the board approved the changes, the provisional ballots were counted and the results were approved by the board by a motion of 3-0. Vargo said that even with the provisional ballots added in, no races were close enough to be impacted, but he did provide numbers for important races in the state and the national election.

For the 22nd District Senate, Tom Hawk added 271 provisional ballots to his total, bringing his final tally to 10,986. Bob Reader gained an additional 187 provisional votes to bring his final votes to 9,333. For the 66th District House, Sydney Carlin received an additional 176 votes, bringing her total to 4,540 votes, and Lee Modesitt received another 95 votes, bringing his total to 3,184. For the presidential election, Mitt Romney added 189 votes, bringing his total from Riley County to 11, 346. Barack Obama received 255 provisional ballots, and that brought his total from Riley County to 8,842 total votes.

The new election results will be available later this evening on the Riley County website.

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