Jasper Mayoral Race Decided By A Single Vote – Mayor Of An Indiana Town Re-Elected After A Vote Is Thrown Out

The Jasper mayoral race was decided by a single vote. After the ballot count was challenged, a recount commission decided that the current mayor of the Indiana town stays for another term.

The mayor of Jasper, an Indiana town, was re-elected by just one vote. The election panel appointed to recount the ballot discarded a single one, resulting in the re-election of Republican incumbent Terry Seitz. The recount commission met on Friday morning to determine the outcome, reported 14 News.

The town of Jasper had held a recount this week after the November election between Republican Mayor Terry Seitz and Democratic rival Wayne Schuetter. Interestingly, the ballot resulted in a tie between the candidates. During the recount, attorneys from both the side argued on which of the votes could be considered invalid and rejected. Four ballots were totally contested, two from each side. The recount resulted in determining the winner.

The recount commission was sanctioned by Daviess Superior Court Judge Dean A. Sobecki. At the Friday’s commission hearing, Schuetter and Seitz’s attorneys were engaged in arguments over which of the contested votes should be counted in the final tally and how many should be discarded. While each of the candidates attempted to get the ballot in favor of the opposite party rejected, the recount commission managed to find an error in one of the ballots, reported Dayton Daily News. The clerical error in the ballot helped decide the new mayor of Jasper, which incidentally is the old one. The commission decided with a 2-to-1 vote that an absentee vote for Democratic challenger Wayne Schuetter was not valid.

Jasper Mayoral Race Decided By A Single Vote [Photo by Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images]After the initial count of the ballot, there was a tie. Each of the candidates had received 1,856 votes. There was an independent candidate who didn’t fare well. Joshua Budd, who stood against the Democratic and Republican candidate, managed to get just 190 votes. Some speculated, if it wasn’t for Budd, the result of the election would have been clear and the two candidates wouldn’t have to look towards a recount commission.

It was expected that one of the candidates will surely call for a recount. Sure enough, it was the current mayor of Jasper, Terry Seitz, who challenged the tie between himself and Democrat challenger Wayne Schuetter after Election Day in November. Additionally, Seitz also demanded for a special election. While attorneys David Brooks and Shelby DeWester represented Seitz, William Groth represented Schuetter during the recount commission that was appointed to settle the mayoral race dispute.

The attorneys argued on which of the four problematic votes found at Monday’s vote count should be included in the race’s total. The recount commission consisted of Merrill Osterman as the Republican representative, Art Nordhoff as the Democratic representative, and Jefferson County Clerk Karen Mannix as the mechanic, reported Evansville Courier Press.

The six people appointed for the recount thoroughly went through the tallies to ensure the entire lot of machine and absentee votes were counted correctly. After the recount process, four votes were identified as “problematic.”

Jasper Mayoral Race Decided By A Single Vote [Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]Surprisingly, the Jasper mayoral race was determined by a clerical error. One of the four problematic ballots wasn’t properly initialed by both watchers of the election booth. According to the process, the watchers, a Democrat and a Republican, both have to initial the ballot. This process ensures that the person making the selection is the actual voter and isn’t a proxy. Interestingly, the other three problematic votes had “erasure issues” and were in favor of Seitz. However, these three were counted in the final tally, leaving just a single vote out, which incidentally was in favor of Schuetter.

While the election officials have confirmed that Schuetter is allowed to appeal any of those ballots to a judge, for now, Jasper’s mayoral race has a winner that was decided by a single vote.

[Photo by Ben Stansall/Getty Images]