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On Aug. 9 the St. Francois County Commission officially certified the Aug. 2 primary election results and Incumbent District 1 Associate Commissioner Gay Wilkinson was named the winner by one vote over his opponent Linda Black after County Clerk Mark Hedrick’s office pulled two precincts and recounted the results.

The certified election results showed incumbent Wilkinson with 1,588 votes, or 50.02 percent, and Black with 1,587 votes, or 49.98 percent. Wilkinson had won by one vote.

Black had five days from that day to file a petition with the court for a recount due to the race being so close.

Hedrick said it has been in the courts and they held the recount Tuesday morning and after the court reviewed the results of the recount on Wednesday morning the results were determined to be a tie. Both candidates received 1,589 votes, an equal split.

“The change was due to the fact that on three ballots the voter did not mark within the box, which resulted in the machine being unable to read the vote,” said Hedrick. “But it was determined by the recount team that the vote should count for the affected candidate because it was obvious who they picked.”

Hedrick added he is in the process of contacting the candidates to determine what they want to do. There are two options to decide the winner, one is to draw a lottery to see who wins or to hold a runoff election.

“The runoff election will need to be set at the earliest possible date, but not prior to 14 days from the certification,” said Hedrick. “All this has to be done by a certain date because we have to certify for the November election.”

Be watching for additional details in an expanded story.

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Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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