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Recount Board Convenes For County Attorney Race

By Staff | Nov 23, 2010

The recount of the Palo Alto County Attorney’s vote was conducted last Wednesday by a three-member Recount Board that was appointed by the two candidates in the election. John Schad, Jr., left, along with Ron Seaman, middle, and Janis Campbell, right, recounted all 3,986 votes that were cast in the Nov. 2 election and found a change of just two votes in the overall vote totals. Peter C. Hart ended up with 1,917 votes and Lyssa Henderson received 1,959 votes in the final recount. – Dan Voigt photo

With a margin of just 44 votes after the official canvas of votes on Nov. 9, the race for Palo Alto County Attorney was finally decided last Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 17. A three-person Recount Board was convened at 8:30 a.m. that day to recount the votes from the election in the Palo Alto County Supervisors Boardroom of the Courthouse.

Under the provisions of the Code of Iowa, incumbent County Attorney Peter C. Hart requested the recount of votes as the difference was less than 50 votes. In exercising the recount option, under the Code, Hart was allowed to select a representative to the Recount Board.

Hart selected John Schad, Jr., as his representative on the Recount Board, while challenger Lyssa Henderson selected Janis Campbell as her representative. Under the recount provisions of the Code, the two candidate representatives are required to select a third representative to assist with the recount, and Ron Seaman was asked to serve and accepted the request.

The three-member board began the recount procedure at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 17, taking all of the 3,986 ballots that were cast in the Nov. 2 election, along with absentee ballots, and fed the ballot cards through a voting machine for a tally. The procedure was concluded at 3:30 p.m. with a change of two votes, one more for Hart and one less for Henderson.

Final totals as agreed upon by the recount board were Peter C. Hart, 1,917 votes, Lyssa Henderson, 1,959 votes, for a difference of 42 votes.

“There were fewer than four votes variation,” noted Schad, after reconfirming vote totals with Campell and Seaman. “That’s not enough variation to make a difference.”

“We’re all in agreement with the final totals,” Campbell added.

Assisting the recount board with the process were Palo Alto County Auditor Gary Leonard and Deputy Auditor Carmen Moser.