Recount needed for Sedona's mayoral election

Adams holds slim two-vote margin over Colquitt

It is even closer than this year's Democratic nominating process. The mayoral race in Sedona is so close that it will require a mandatory recount of votes.

Sedona City Clerk Cherry Lawson says the 2008 battle for the mayor's gavel prompted the most ballots cast in Sedona's history; so far, 3,951. The conflict pitted incumbent mayor Ruth "Pud" Colquitt and Councilman Robert ". Their supporters are almost equally divided.

During the initial vote count, which wrapped up Tuesday night, Colquitt lead Adams by 15 votes (Colquitt 1,911 votes, Adams 1,896 votes). But, the county elections office still had a number of ballots that were either "questioned" or qualified but received late Tuesday. Wednesday the county elections office added the 133 additional ballots to the tally.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the elections department posted the "unofficial final results" showing a two-vote spread between the pair. This time Adams led Colquitt. The vote count rested with Adams 1,969 votes and Colquitt 1,967 votes.

Lawson quickly huddled with the city attorney to assess the state law regarding elections. A special subsection of state statutes (ARS 16-661) that dictates when recounts are needed reads:

A. A recount of the vote is required when the canvass of returns in a primary or general election shows that the margin between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for a particular office, or between the number of votes cast for and against initiated or referred measures or proposals to amend the Constitution of Arizona, is less than or equal to the lesser of the following:

1. One-tenth of one per cent of the number of votes cast for both such candidates.

6. Ten votes in the case of an office to be filled by the electors of a city or town or a county or subdivision of a city, town or county.

The difference is clearly under 1- votes and is also less than one-tenth of one percent of the votes cast for both candidates (3.93 votes).

The council must first canvass the votes, a process now scheduled May 27. The council will then request the Yavapai County Superior Court to enter an order requiring a recount.

The recount is conducted by the county elections department and then presented to the Superior Court. The court enters an order of determination.

Once it is over, only half the voters will be happy anyway.

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