27 Votes Decide District 2 Commission Race

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Updated: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 05:21:50 EST

Just 27 votes separated fellow councilmen Larry Schlesinger and Henry Ficklin.

A recount seems guaranteed. State law mandates a recount if an election's margin is within 1%. Schlesinger's margin of victory was .98%.

"The first election was close, we knew this election was going to be close, if not closer," said District 2 Commissioner-elect Larry Schlesinger. "We're just very grateful that we were victorious."

Henry Ficklin wants a recount.

"There were just too many glitches in this election to process even from the outset," said Ficklin.

Schlesinger also acknowledges an election full of faults, but suggests a recount may not change much.

"I trust the numbers that came in to the board of elections and what was reported to the public," said Schlesinger. "I haven't heard anything from the board that would indicate those numbers are going to change."

Redistricting was at the core of the problem according to Ficklin, who says he was facing an uphill battle.

"The lines were drawn to make it very difficult for me to be successful in this race," said Ficklin. "They were drawn with a specific person in mind and that specific person was my opponent."

Ficklin says he has been approached by more than 27 voters, the number of votes he was beat by, who say they ran into problems at the polls..
A WGXA employee received a message via Facebook saying that neither Ficklin or Schlesinger's names were on the district two ballot at Northeast High School.

"An election more so than anything else should be fairly held because that is right at the heart of what our country stands for," said Ficklin.

Election board member Ronnie Miley says as of Wednesday afternoon, the board had not been made aware of any of those complaints, but says they will be looked into.
Meanwhile, Ficklin claims more absentee ballots were brought in and counted after his observer left the board of elections.

"We want to look at the count, especially the absentee ballots," said Ficklin. "Ask some questions about it and see what the outcome shows."

Meanwhile, Commissioner-elect Schlesinger prepares to take his new post.

"We won the election. I'm just going to put things in place and move forward in that way and that direction," he said.

Board of Elections Supervisor Jeanneta Watson says votes won't be certified until some time Friday morning. It won't be until then that the board can decide if Ficklin is within the 1% margin to be eligible for a recount.

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