Candidate Waits On Military Votes Before Recount Decision

It may be another week before a recount is declared in a Columbus City Council race decided by just two votes.

Columbus City Hall Sign

Photo: WFIU News

Columbus city government will be mostly Republican for the next four years, but one Democrat may still ask for a recount.

On Election Day, Republicans swept city races in Columbus – winning the entire city council and the mayor’s office. But while most of the races were romps, the contest in the city council’s third district was close – with dentist Frank Jerome besting city garage employee Greg Noel by just two votes. But that tally isn’t final, Noel says.

“They’re waiting on the military votes to come in from overseas.  We’re expecting those this week,” he says.

By law, Noel has until two weeks after the election to file for a recount.  That same two-week period is the amount of time given to receive and count overseas ballots. So it is likely the Bartholomew County Democratic Party, which has three extra days to file a recount on a candidate’s behalf, will oversee the paperwork. County Democratic Chairman Jaimie Johns says he’s not sure how many votes he’s waiting on, though.

“The county clerk’s office just indicated a handful,” Johns says. “So again that may be two or three, maybe a dozen.  But I’m assuming it’s just a very few.”

County clerk Tami Hines declined a request for a taped interview with WFIU, saying she preferred not to enter the discussion before a recount was filed.  As for Noel, he says he’s not worrying about the recount – preferring to take advantage of hunting season instead.

“I can’t sit back and ponder all this,” Noel says. “Got to keep living my life the way I live it and, you know, in the next couple weeks we’ll have an outcome.”

Jaimie Johns says he will likely ask for a recount if the final tally shows Noel trailing by less than about a dozen votes.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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