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2 runoff races decided at polls despite snags

by Dale Ellis | April 5, 2020 at 3:14 a.m.
"I Voted" stickers for early voters Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.

Despite one less polling site, losing some poll workers to fears of covid-19 and a technical glitch, two runoff races in Jefferson County went off relatively smoothly Tuesday, election officials said.

The two Democratic runoff races in Jefferson County were for the District 13 Justice of the Peace race between Justice Brenda Bishop Gaddy of Altheimer and Jeff Edwards of Sherrill, and the Pine Bluff Ward 2 City Council race between Steven Shaner and Lloyd Franklin II.

Gaddy, 65, the incumbent in District 13, claimed an apparent victory, besting Edwards, 56, by 16 votes out of 130 cast.

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Complete but unofficial results were:

• Gaddy 73

• Edwards 57

In the City Council race, Shaner, 43, was the apparent winner over Franklin, 40, to replace the current council member, Win Trafford, 47, who did not run for another term. A total of 677 ballots were cast.

Complete but unofficial results were:

• Shaner 424

• Franklin 253

A total of 807 ballots were cast in the runoff elections.

In the county clerk's office, Diane Haddox reported that 190 voters had cast ballots during the week of early voting and 80 absentee ballots had been received by mail by the cutoff time of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A glitch in reading the votes from the personal electronic ballot devices resulted in 278 votes showing in early voting, 88 more than the 190 that were actually cast. The problem was caught when Election Administrator Sven Hipp noticed the discrepancy on one of the readouts and called for a manual count.

Election Commissioner Stuart Soffer attributed the problem to the county's aging equipment, and predicted big problems to come in the November election.

Other problems surfaced. On Tuesday morning, Hipp said he had to make several replacements of poll workers, one before voting began for the day, and several more just after polls opened.

SundayMonday on 04/05/2020

Print Headline: 2 runoff races decided at polls despite snags


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