Democratic incumbent Ed Mahern will lose his re-election run for the Indiana House to Republican challenger Jon Elrod based on uncertified election results, Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler said Tuesday.
Democrats, however, disputed whether the vote total -- which has Elrod ahead by five votes in District 97 -- was final, and Marion County election officials expect a recount in such a tight race.
The deadline for certifying all votes is noon Monday. Recounts are conducted by state officials after the certification at the request of a candidate.Mahern received 4,438 votes to Elrod's 4,443.
All ballots have been counted, Sadler said, except for four provisional ballots. Those four voters didn't have appropriate identification to vote and have until Friday to appear at the Election Board office and prove their identities.
Plus, three absentee ballots cast before Election Day will not be counted, Sadler said. State law required that the ballots be counted at the polling place on Election Day, but the Election Board was unable to get them there on time.That means the ballots can't be included in the tally, Sadler said, adding that some ballots are discarded each year because of that problem.
Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy said he believes those three absentee ballots can -- and will -- be counted.
"If they don't count them, I'll guarantee it will go to court," he said. "The name of the game is to count all of the ballots, not to count just the ones they want to count. This ain't over."
Mahern said he was still waiting to see how the last few votes turned out but said he would seriously consider a recount."
There are several things that did not go right with this election," he said. "I will have something to say if people are disenfranchised."
Elrod, 29, said he's happy to wait to declare victory until every legal vote has been counted and a recount process has played out."
I don't think it's such a bad thing to make sure all the votes are counted," he said.
If you ever needed a reminder that every vote counts, this election race certainly proves that.