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Recount Possible In Spink County Race

November 8, 2012, 5:08 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Recount Possible In Spink County Race
REDFIELD, SD -

If you've ever wondered whether your vote makes a difference, look no further than Spink County where a single vote decided a county commission race.

Current auditor Cindy Schultz is retiring at the end of the year so she decided to run for a commission seat. She earned one more vote than the incumbent she ran against. And he's still deciding whether to petition for a recount.

"I suppose I was expecting it to be close. But one vote? No," Schultz said.

Current commissioner Brian Johnson was surprised too.

Schultz got an early lead on election night, when results from her precinct came in first. When election officials tallied the rest, Johnson made up a lot of ground but still fell a single vote short.

Johnson says he'll discuss his options with a few people before deciding whether to petition for a recount. By state law, he'd hand that in to the auditor's office which is run by his opponent.

If a petition comes in, Schultz says she's asked her deputies to handle it.

"Then we send it to the judge and he appoints the recount board," Schultz said.

Johnson joined the commission four years ago and unseated an incumbent to do so. He was hoping the challenger wouldn't come out ahead this time. He may have to wait to find out if she has.

"It is frustrating because I'm sure Brian and I were both thinking, 'oh I can't wait for this to be over with,' and it's not over with," Schultz said.

Johnson says he didn't want to wait any longer for the final results either. But with a vote this close, a single mistake could have cost him the race.

Another twist to the race surfaced Thursday. When commissioners canvassed votes, they realized a voter in this race's district received the wrong ballot. So there should have been one more vote thrown in the mix for one candidate or the other.

Schultz says she won't have anything to do with how to handle the matter.

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