Franklin County’s voter canvass Tuesday will have an interesting plot as it will decide the outcome of a local race and possibly another.
The canvass is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday in the old court room on the second floor of the Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa. The county commissioner race between Randall Renoud and Don Stottlemire will be decided by the provisional ballots. Stottlemire led Renoud, 412-410, after the ballots were counted Tuesday night.
The governor’s race for the Republican nomination is too close to call as 191 votes separated Kris Kobach and Jeff Colyer statewide as of noon Wednesday.
Janet Paddock, county clerk, said there are 116 provisional ballots for her staff to review.
“Not all those are going to directly effect the commission race or the governor/lieutenant governor race that are really tight,” Paddock said. “I don’t know how many of those are Democrat vs. Republican. We will be going through those in the next couple of days and reviewing those.”
Paddock reminded voters that their vote counts every time.
“Even though when you think it doesn’t, it really does,” Paddock said. “You get out and vote a ballot and may not feel your vote counted on one particular race that has a wide margin, but a local race, your vote definitely counts.”
Local resident Michelle Graf was among those who made her vote count, she said.
“It might seem cliche, but I believe it’s my responsibility,” Graf said. “And I think I have no right to complain if I don’t go out and cast my vote. I think a lot of people complain, but if you don’t vote, I don’t think you get that right.”
Angela Glenn votes every chance she gets.
“I’ve voted in every eligible election since I turned 18,” Glenn said. “It’s my civic duty.”
Paddock said the canvass should attract more attention.
“I expect we will have quite a few people there watching to see what the outcome is,” she said. “We will do our due diligence. We will have all our reporting there. Every ‘I’ dotted and every ‘T’ crossed to make sure that these results are accurate for how the voters of Franklin County wanted it to be.”
In Franklin County, Paddock said, a little more than 4,500 votes were cast Tuesday and there was a 42 percent voter turnout of registered Republican voters.
“That was an amazing turnout, much higher than we have had since I have been here,” Paddock said. “We were able to accommodate all the voters that wanted to vote.”
Paddock sent the Franklin County results to the Secretary of State’s office for their review, she said.
“We have processes we follow, and I would not and could not change our processes based on the closeness of a race,” Paddock said. “We view every ballot as important to count... We will review all our results and make sure they were accurately reported.”
Paddock said her office will go through each of the provisional ballots to see if they are valid votes.
“We will match up those to the statutes and make a recommendation to the board of canvassers on Tuesday when we have the canvass,” she said.
Paddock said the Secretary of State’s office may order each county clerk’s office to recount the ballots for governor.
“I heard some talk about a possible recount,” Paddock said. “All that goes through the Secretary of State’s office. We will continue to do our job as expected from us, until we hear differently from the Secretary of State’s office.”
Paddock is interested in seeing what happened with Johnson County, which did not report its results until Wednesday morning.
“We have had our election equipment for 10 years now and that is the lifespan of the election equipment,” she said. “We are going to be talking about what it will cost to get us new equipment. The vendor that Johnson County used is a very reputable vendor in the state. They are the [ones] I currently have our old equipment through. We are definitely looking at their equipment to see if it would be workable for us.”
Herald staff writer John Jared Hawks contributed to this article.