December 03, 2021

The saga continues

Stoll won mayoral drawing, Kedley talks contestation, voter fraud investigation

The drawing for the mayor of Osceola was done 3 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 10 at the Clarke County Courthouse. Supervisor Chair Dean Robins drew a name from a glass bowl after the results of the recount had been confirmed. The name drawn was Matt Stoll.

Kedley said he will be contesting due to alleged voter fraud that will be investigated.

“We have someone who lives in the county but voted in Ward 2 of Osceola and it’s something we’re going to be looking into because that is voter fraud,” said Kedley. “They do not live within city limits of Osceola so they should not vote for mayor of Osceola. They’re registered at the address in Osceola but that house does not have running utilities, it does not have tax credit and it’s a condemned property that the City of Osceola is going to be demoing because it’s a derelict property. I know they don’t live there.”

“I’m happy, don’t get me wrong but I wish it wouldn’t have went down this way. I wish we would have had a re-vote, a runoff election, special election but it’s Iowa Law, it is what it is and hopefully we can get that changed in the future,” said Stoll. “I’ve heard rumors of [voter fraud] but we’ll deal with it if we have to, whatever comes will come.”

Background

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.

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.