Below is today's article from the Hillsdale Daily. It is of interest to me because it is near my old stompin grounds. For those not familiar, Hillsdale is home to Michigan's oldest county fair and to Hillsdale College, a private liberal arts college located in the south-central part of Michigan. Enjoy:
Canvassers confirm win for Sessions
Student holds on with slim two–vote margin
Tom Kondilas, Staff Writer
The “18–year–old high school student” as one voter wrote in, will be certified as the winner of the Hillsdale mayoral race. But it’s close.
The official count for the mayoral race had write–in candidate Michael Sessions eking out a 670–668 win over incumbent Doug Ingles. Sessions’ lead dwindled from the 64–vote margin that was unofficially announced Tuesday night.
The drastic change in the count is largely due to the nature of Sessions’ write–in candidacy and the electronic voting machines used to tabulate the votes.
The voting machines counted any ballots that had the write–in bubble filled for Michael Sessions because he was the only official write–in candidate. That means that even stray marks could have counted for Ses–sions the first time through.
The County Board of Canvas–sers had the job of officially interpreting which votes to count for Sessions and which to eliminate. By law, any vote that the board believed was in–tended for Sessions must count for him. The question be–comes an interpretation of intent.
Among the variations of spellings, the board decided that one person who wrote in “18–year–old high school student,” did intend to vote for Sessions, but that a voter who wrote in “anybody else,” did not.
“Everybody’s trying to do their very best job,” said County Clerk Tom Mohr. “The only way the ballots are going to be looked at is if there’s a recount.” That seems imminent because of how close the vote is.