December 03, 2021

A tight race

Osceola Mayor decided by drawing names after tie was determined

On Tuesday Nov. 2 all the ballots were counted at the seven Clarke County polling stations. The results that the counting machine gave for mayoral race was 382 votes for Matt Stoll and 381 votes for the current Osceola Mayor Thomas Kedley.

Kedley then contested the results using Iowa Code Chapter 57 Election Contest. For a recount to take place Kedley chose someone to count, Stoll chose someone to count and those two people came together to chose a third person to hand count ballots as the recount board.

The recount was held in the Clarke County Courthouse Tuesday Nov. 9 where it was determined that Stoll and Kedley had tied for mayor.

“There was one ballot that the machine may not have picked up because it had a check mark instead of shading in the oval,” said Clarke County Auditor Janice White. “The law says the machine count standard is a little different than the hand count standard. The hand count then becomes voter intent... The three on the recount board, they all agreed the ballot was clearly marked. It’s not an error either way it’s just two different standards.”

Because the recount board determined a tie the Board of Supervisors by Iowa Code will determine the ultimate winner by drawing names. This can still be contested should the losing party chose.

“This has not happened in the county while I’ve been auditor but it does happen,” said White.

The drawing was done at 3 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 10 at the Clarke County Courthouse. Results can be found at www.osceolaiowa.com or in the November 18 edition of the Osceola Sentinel Tribune.

Tyra Audlehelm

Tyra Audlehelm

I grew up in Osceola and live here still with my husband and son. I graduated with my Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2017. I have work at the OST since January of 2018.