The Marshall mayoral race is over. Mark Gooden is the mayor-elect with a final vote tally of 759 to 746 for Mayor Pro Tem Ron Duvall.
“I have to congratulate these men on how they conducted themselves,” said Circuit Judge Dennis Rolf. “This could have been a long difficult process.” Rolf said he spoke with Duvall and Gooden on Wednesday and the trio reached an agreement on how the process would be conducted. A recount of votes was conducted Thursday, April 14.
With Richard Clemens and Ron Monnig representing both major parties, the county clerk, the judge and media present, a representative of the voting machine company began feeding sample ballots into the machine at 9:17 a.m.
The first hitch came during the counting of the absentee ballots. One ballot was not counted due to the voter’s passing before the election. The rest of the absentee ballots returned a 49 to 44 result in favor of Gooden. The original count on election night was 45 to 45. The machine was designed to read a filled in oval, the representative said. There are some ballots that have “Xs.”
Rolf suggested re-running the ballots through the counting machine and the result was five that had an “X” or a squiggle instead of a fully filled out oval. The result of the second recount on absentee ballots matched the first and the two candidates agree to accept the result. The remaining recount of the four wards matched the election night count exactly, giving a final tally of 759 to 746.