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Despite glitch, city council election numbers unchanged

By DAVID TEWES
May 10, 2010 at 12:10 a.m.


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Mayor Will Armstrong, Super District 5 Council Member Joe Truman and Super District 6 Council Member Tom Halepaska will be sworn into office Tuesday.

City Secretary Scarlet Swoboda will administer the oath during the 5 p.m. council meeting.

The results of Saturday's Victoria City Council election will not change, despite a glitch in counting the early vote.

Elections Administrator George Matthews said Monday that he reviewed the numbers and blamed the problem on "fat fingers." Someone entered numbers incorrectly into a spreadsheet, he said.

The spreadsheet numbers didn't match the voting machine numbers, both of which use separate systems.

"I couldn't account for that the other night," he said. "So that's why I went back and we were checking to see what the totals were."

The city council will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chamber to canvass the votes.

Victoria voters returned both incumbent super district city council members to office by a close margin in Saturday's election.

Super District 6 incumbent Tom Halepaska garnered 1,275 votes, compared to challenger Jeff Williams' 1,156 votes.

Super District 5 incumbent Joe Truman had 483 ballots cast for him. His opponent, Emett Alvarez, had 439 votes.

Super District 6 covers the north half of Victoria and Super District 5 covers the south half.

Incumbent Will Armstrong easily outpaced his opponents in a three-way race Saturday to be Victoria's mayor for the next three years.

Armstrong picked up 1,953 votes. Opponent Robin Holy had 893 votes. The third candidate was write-in Chelle Nickerson.

There were 367 write-in votes cast, but Matthews said they were not all for Nickerson. He said he was sorting through the write-in numbers Monday.

Williams, who lost by about 119 votes in the Super District 6 race, said he doesn't intend to seek a recount.

"But I know I'm going to wait and see what the results are of the early voting," he said. "That appears to be what the concern was."

Alvarez on Saturday demanded an explanation about the glitch and said he would decide whether to seek a recount. He said he got that explanation Monday from Matthews and will not challenge the results.

"I'm satisfied it was just a mistake that was corrected and didn't change the numbers," he said.

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