Election certified, two candidates declared winner
Hensley ousts O’Neal in Marion, single vote decides Horseshoe Lake council race
By JOHN RECH
While in some places, the count goes on, the local results of Election Day 2020 are in the books.
Crittenden County election commissioners finalized vote counts and certified the election results last Friday evening. The final vote tallies settled two close races, including a winner by just one vote.
“We had to wait to certify the election until 5:00 p.m. Friday for the overseas ballot deadline,” said Election Commissioner Frank Barton.
The race for Town Council Position 5 in Horseshoe Lake was settled by just one vote. The results see-sawed after the polls closed with an additional absentee vote and a single provisional ballot tallied. Election night returns counted 75 votes for Kenneth McDermott over Greg Davenport with 74.
“Every vote counts,” said Barton. “It went the other way in Horseshoe Lake after we counted one provisional ballot that would not scan and one absentee ballot.”
Both of those ballots cast went to Davenport and the final count edged out Mc-Dermott by a single vote. Election Commissioners notified McDermott of his close loss and provided information regarding a
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recount. McDermott waived the recount according to Barton.
On Election night, election commissioners told Marion City Council Ward 1 incumbent Kelly O’Neal and challenger Kelsey Pirani Hensley they would have to await the _nal decision on their race until after provisional ballots had been tabulated.
The race had been too close to call on election night. Hensley outpaced O’Neal with ballots cast at the polls by just over 100 votes. Hensley stood atop the vote count 2,589 over O’Neal with 2,478 ballots. Hensley won the early vote, but O’Neal won the election day poll and the absentee votes.
”Given the large number, over 1,000, of provisional ballots, the Marion city council race was too close to call on election day,” said Barton. “We counted those ballots on Monday at noon in the election commission of_ce before certifying the election results on Friday.”
The _nal vote count gave the nod to Hensley, besting O’Neal by 112 votes.
Political newcomer Kelsey Pirani Hensley was officially successful in her bid to unseat longtime Marion City Councilman Kelly O’Neal. The Crittenden County Election Commission certified Hensley’s 112-vote win over O’Neal and the rest of the county’s races last Friday.