Whittet wins Haynes election

Tiebreaker comes to luck of the draw.

Adams County Auditor Patricia Carroll holds up the bucket containing the names of the two candidates for Haynes City Council. The election ended in a tie, and after a recount, the winners name was drawn. Rita Whittet was the successful candidate. – JAMIE SPAINHOWER/Adams County Record

By JAMIE SPAINHOWER

Record Editor

Posted June 22, 2012

Rita Whittet will be the Haynes City Council member, beating Lacey Kostelecky for the position by the luck of the draw.

After the votes were tallied last Tuesday, the two women were tied for the opening with 10 votes each. Yesterday morning, a group of four citizens from Haynes, and four county officials held a re-count, which County Commission Chair Chuck Christman said is the first tiebreaker he has attended.

Following the procedure laid out by law, the four reviewed the ballot certification sets that were prepared by the election board on election night. They then reviewed the ballot certification sheet, then the poll book, which certifies the voters.

“If they were at the polls it shows they signed in, if they were absentee (mail-in) votes the records denote that also,” said Carroll.

The canvassing board report was reviews, and all votes cast were accounted for.

Next, the sealed ballots were opened, and a manual review began.

They verified there were official election judge initials on each ballot, and counted any left over ballots from election night, making sure each ballot was accounted for.

Write-in votes are separated (if any) and the tally begins.

Two people keep the count, and one reads off the votes.

After the recount, it was still tied – and the ballots were gone over again to make sure the ovals were properly filled in.

After an hour, it came down to drawing a name out of a pail to decide the winner.

According to the official procedure, each name was on the same paper, same size, folded exactly down the middle so there could be no difference felt when drawing a name.

Kostelecky was present for the entire procedure, and when Whittet’s name was drawn was disappointed.

The whole recount went quickly, considering there were only 20 ballots to count, and the group as a whole said it was a good learning experience.