A communication gap at the Lee County Auditor’s Office led to incorrect tallies posted on the county website after the Keokuk School Board election Sept. 13, causing a losing candidate to request a vote recount.
Auditor Ann Pedersen explained Tuesday to Lee County Supervisors Gary Folluo, Ernie Schiller, Larry Kruse and Janet Fife-LaFrenz how the gaffe occurred and whether it changed vote totals.
“Entering the unofficial results had no bearing on the outcome of the election, but unfortunately it changed who won and who lost,” she said. “The first thing I did was call Chris Lindner and informed him that he had lost. Then I called Michael Beaird, who thought he had lost, and told him that he had won.” The official count of votes was made Friday, revealing the situation.
Instead of coming in fourth and therefore being elected to the school board, Lindner came in sixth. John Davis, who initially had been reported as the top vote-getter, actually received enough votes to put him in fourth place and in a board seat.
Candidate Barb Carlson received 10 fewer votes than Davis and ended up in fifth place.
There were four open school board seats.
Lindner went to the auditor’s office Monday and requested a recount. He had to pay a $100 bond because the vote margin between his total votes and the next vote getter’s results was 51 votes – one vote higher than the “no bond” limit. If after the recount the votes change significantly, Lindner will get his money back. If not, the auditor’s office will put the money into its election fund.