One year, five months and 25 days after voters cast their ballots, Hamilton County declared a winner Friday in the 2010 election for juvenile court judge. Democrat Tracie Hunter beat Republican John Williams by 71 votes in what is believed to be the longest election in county history. Hunter trailed Williams by 23 votes after the election on Nov. 2, 2010, but a court order to count about 300 contested provisional ballots put her over the top. The long, politically-charged fight over the ballots became an early skirmish between Democrats and Republicans in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, as both sides angled to shape voting rules and policies.
Board of Elections officials completed the count late Friday as Hunter and about 20 supporters looked on. When Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke flashed them the “thumbs up” sign, the crowd erupted in cheers. “I’m elated,” Hunter said. “I’m happy for the voters and I’m happy the people finally saw the wheels of justice turn the right way.”