Election tie may be broken Wednesday

Sean C. Morgan

The fourth-place tie in the Sweet Home City Council election may be resolved Wednesday evening.

Linn County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller said that Tuesday was the final day to resolve ballot issues.

The county has been collecting ballots dropped in other counties and resolving challenged ballots since the election on Nov. 4, which ended in a tie for fourth place between incumbent Bruce Hobbs and James Goble, each with 916 votes.

The candidate finishing in fourth place serves a two-year term. The top three serve four-year terms. Finishing in third was Jeff Goodwin with 932 votes. Ryan Underwood finished in second with 1,146 votes, and incumbent Greg Mahler finished in first with 1,296 votes.

Aaron Pye received 538 votes, and Anay Hausner finished with 747 votes.

“On Wednesday, we’ll process the ballots, and we’ll count them,” Druckenmiller said. “We’ll post the results.”

He hopes to certify the election on Thursday.

If the tie remains after counting the additional ballots and certifying the election, it will trigger a recount, Druckenmiller said.

After the recount, if the tie remains, the city will follow its charter and break the tie by drawing lots, which could include rolling dice, cutting cards, drawing a name from a hat or similar random method.

Druckenmiller has 700 to 800 additional ballots to count, he said, but he doesn’t know how many will affect the Sweet Home City Council race.

Those ballots include ballots with challenged signatures or no signatures. The clerk’s office notified those voters, and they had the opportunity to go to the clerk’s office and confirm their ballots.

The New Era will post the result on-line as soon as it is available at sweethomenews.com and on its Facebook page.