Sallisaw attorney Matt Orendorff said Thursday morning he plans to petition the state election board for a recount of the votes cast in the election of the associate district judge on Tuesday. Orendorff lost the election to Kyle Waters, also an attorney, by only 13 votes. Waters received 4,029 votes (50.1 percent) for the post while Orendorff garnered 4,016 votes (49.9 percent).
Orendorff said Thursday morning that he understands there was a problem with one of the county election board computers, which may have skewed the count, and many voters have inquired if a recount should be called for because the candidates were separated by only 13 votes.
Orendorff said there are no politics involved in his petition for a recount. "We are going to ask for a manual count," he said. "A lot of people supported us and they want to see it through. We are not challenging the results, we are just asking for a recount because we heard they were having trouble with one of the machines."
Cindy Osborn, Sequoyah County Election Board secretary, stated that the only "glitch" she was aware of occurred while trying to print a report from the state website. According to Osborn, as far as she knows everything worked perfectly at each precinct and with the tallying of votes. She said candidates for the associate district judge must file the petition for a recount with the state election board in Oklahoma City. The deadline to file is at 5 p.m. Friday. Orendorff said he will have the petition at the state board by the deadline.
Osborn said the state's electronic ballot system is extremely accurate. When the last recount in the county was called for in a town council race in Roland, Osburn said the manual count came out exactly as the electronic count. Osburn said candidates for the associate district judge's post, if they wish to call for a recount, must do so at the state election board in Oklahoma City, the same place they filed for the office, and where the written request must be submitted. Such recounts also cost money. The state charges $600 for the first 3,000 ballots, then another $600 for the next 6,000 ballots, plus another $300 which goes to the state. The recount will most likely be conducted in the county. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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