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Primary election recount to start next Wednesday

The Harrison County Commissioner District 2 Republican primary election saga should come to an end late next week.
A recount of votes between candidates Rhonda Rhoads and Kenny Saulman will begin next Wednesday morning at 9 in the Commissioners/Council Room of the Harrison County Court House. If the reviewing of the 2,375 Republican ballots isn’t completed that day, it will continue June 20.
According to Harrison County Circuit Clerk Sherry Brown, the general public is allowed to view the recount taking place.
Special Judge Larry Blanton of Orange County signed the order for the recount last week after appointing a three-member recount commission to count all paper ballots from the May 6 election. The 41 touch-screen ballots will stand.
Harrison Circuit Judge H. Lloyd (Tad) Whitis recused himself from the recount, which opened for the appointment of Blanton.
Commission members are retired certified public accountant Tom Tucker, a Democrat; Harrison Township Trustee Cecil Trobaugh; and former Carmel mayor Jane Reiman, a Republican.
Saulman, who was previously a county commissioner, councilman and township trustee, asked for and paid for the recount after being edged by Rhoads, 819-812.
On election night, the vote count was 815 for Rhoads and 811 for Saulman, with the ‘final’ margin being decided after provisional ballots were counted May 16.
A third Republican candidate, incumbent J.R. Eckart, received 571 votes and was effectively defeated in the race.
Saulman will have to overcome a historical barrier when it comes to recounts in the county. A recount in 2006 of 16 Harrison County precincts yielded no significant changes in any race. In a treasurer’s race, one candidate’s votes were the same both by hand and by computer, while an opponent picked up just four votes.
Another recount in 2002 between four candidates vying for two seats on the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees yielded a similar four-vote swing to one candidate but didn’t change the final results of the election.

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