MASON — Its been two weeks since the Mason municipal election, but results for the mayor’s race have yet to be officially certified.
Mayoral candidate Heath Engle has filed the necessary paperwork requesting a recount of ballots from the June 11 election. The recount will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Mason Town Hall.
Engle remained behind Incumbent Mayor Donna Dennis by two votes following the election canvass on June 17. Although no ballots were hand counted at the canvass as required, two provisional ballots were counted following a vote by council members.
Unofficial tallies after the election showed Dennis winning the seat 67 votes to Engle’s 65. When the provisional ballots were counted at the canvass, each candidate gained one vote, bringing Dennis’ total to 68 and Engle’s to 66, keeping the two-vote difference.
Before adjourning, the council members voted to set the bond for a recount at $300, the maximum allowed. Engle had until late afternoon on June 19 to request the recount and post the bond, which he did.
The council then had 48 hours following Engle’s request to notify Dennis of the recount. She also posted the $300 bond to protect her rights in the process.
During a regular council meeting on June 20, members discussed having the recount either June 27 or 28, depending on when the town attorney could attend. The recount is open to the public. A recount team of four people will be appointed by town Recorder Christy McDonald to read the ballots aloud and tally them.
According to a recount manual, issued by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, Engle must pay for the cost of the recount if the election results do not change. This amount could go above and beyond the bond posted by Engle.
The remainder of the election results, other than the mayor’s position, was certified at the council’s regular session. Councilman Marty Yeager read the results in the absence of Recorder Christy McDonald, as her representative.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.