Maher wins Page County supervisors race…maybe | News

(Clarinda) — Page County’s Iowa Primary results are in question because of voting machine issues.

Unofficial results from the Page County Auditor’s Office show challenger Todd Maher defeated incumbent Alan Armstrong for the county’s 2nd district supervisor’s Republican nomination. Maher tallied 1,473 votes–or 68.29%, to Armstrong’s 681 votes, or 31.57%. However, County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen announced in a press release Tuesday night that she’s made a request to conduct an administrative recount “of all races in all precincts” as a result of a technical glitch involving the county’s voting machines. While saying each machine was thoroughly tested prior to Election Day, Wellhausen says the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office reported issues with the Unisyn voting equipment, including multiple instances of paper jams when voters inserted ballots into the tabulator. She says this caused the number on the tabulator to increase and lead to the appearance that more ballots were cast than voters who signed a declaration of eligibility. Wellhausen adds the county’s equipment vendor, Adkins, advised that older motherboards in the equipment caused the problem. Approval of the recount is on the agenda of a special county board of supervisor’s meeting Wednesday morning at 8.

Other area supervisor’s races produced dramatic results. In Fremont County, challenger Clint Blackburn joined incumbent Dustin Sheldon on the Fremont County supervisor’s Republican ticket in November. Unofficial results show Blackburn winning the first GOP nomination with 375 votes, with Sheldon, second, with 359. Two other challengers, Rodney Burge and former supervisor Terry Graham, finished third and fourth with 320 votes and 295 votes, respectively. Blackburn tells KMA News he was humbled by finishing first in the four-person GOP race.

“I appreciate everybody that supported us here,” said Blackburn. “By looking at things, it looked like it was a pretty tight race. It’s good to see that, I think. It showed that everybody turned out and sort of voiced their opinions. We’re happy to say that we’re one of the top guys.”

Blackburn was asked what characteristics appealed to the voters.

“You know, like I say, this is my first time running,” he said. “So, this all kind of new to me. But. like I say, I didn’t come with an agenda, and I’m a guy that’s pretty easy to talk to, and not afraid to get to the bottom of things, and find some common ground. I think that’s what led people to vote for me.”

KMA News asked Sheldon for his reaction to the results.

“We’re pretty pleased with the results that we got,” said Sheldon. “We’re ready to keep moving forward with what we started four years ago, and building on what we started so far.”

Sheldon paid tribute to the other candidates.

“They campaigned hard,” he said, “and got around to see a lot of people in the county. With that, we get along and do the same thing through our work every day. That’s kind of where we’re at. It what a good race.”

Barring a write-in candidacy, Blackburn and Sheldon are expected to take their supervisor’s seats in January. Incumbent Randy Hickey opted not to run for reelection. Other incumbent supervisors had better luck Tuesday. In Montgomery County, incumbent Mark Peterson won the 4th district supervisor’s Republican nomination, defeating challenge George Bruce, 181-49. Likewise, longtime incumbent Richard Crouch held off a strong challenge from Sandi Winton to take the Mills County supervisor’s GOP nomination.Crouch had 795 votes to Winton’s 740,

In Adams County, Tony Hardisty edged Jerry Peckham for the 2nd district supervisor’s GOP nomination by only three votes–53 to 50. In the 5th supervisor’s Republican race, Christopher Standley defeated Karl McCarty, 79-to-39. And, in Taylor County, Kim Watson won the three-person race for the District 2 supervisor’s Republican nomination. Watson totaled 154 votes to Mike Irvin’s 102 votes and Jodi Still’s 29.

A reminder–all results are unofficial pending vote canvasesing by county boards of supervisors.

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