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Recount reaffirms Boyer's victory

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

The Miami County Election Board concluded the recount of the Republican primary-election’s nearly neck and neck race for county coroner on Thursday - and John Boyer remained the victor.

“The recount didn’t change the outcome of the election,” said Miami County Clerk of Courts and election board member Tawna Leffel-Sands.

Last month on Election Night, the preliminary vote count revealed that Boyer had defeated candidate Jon Reibly by 19 votes.

After the election board discovered one of the voting machines had not been counted – missing 47 votes – while uploading signatures to the state database, that difference came down to just six votes, and Reibly requested a recount on May 22.

In the petition, Reibly wrote that he “in good faith” believes that the votes were not correctly or accurately accounted.

“That petitioner would request a detailed review of all absentee ballots, especially those relating to nursing home facilities and senior citizen residencies within Miami County, Indiana, including those with or without affidavits of voter assistance, and if said voters were deemed competent voters,” Reibly wrote.

Reibly also filed a second, amended petition last week before the recount took place, but Indiana Code requires that election-contest petitions be filed within two weeks of an election, and Miami County Circuit Judge Tim Spahr denied the amended petition.

In response to the first petition, Spahr appointed two people, one Republican and one Democrat, to conduct the recount, and a third person familiar with the vote machines was also involved in the process, according to Leffel-Sands. 

A representative from MicroVote – the voting machine vendor Miami County contracts with –was also on scene to oversee the process.

On Thursday, the MicroVote representative helped the commission print out the results from each machine’s internal hard-drive, and the commission then spent five hours (with no breaks) hand counting each and every ballot.

It turns out there was one missed vote, for Boyer, that brought the total tally to 2,223 votes for Boyer, and 2,216 votes for Reibly.

That one missed vote may have been from the absentee ballot count, but the recount commission wasn’t exactly sure, according to Leffel-Sands.

Despite the hiccup of the machine malfunction and the one missed vote, Leffel-Sands said that people should remain confident in the voting system.

“These SNAFUs happen,” Leffel-Sands said. “Whether hand counting or machine counting, (the results) are still virtually the same.”