Whitewater City Council race getting recount
Incumbent Lynn Binnie totaled 344 votes while challenger Cort Hartmann had 342.
"This could change, but if I'm still behind after counting all the absentee ballots, I'll request a recount," Hartmann said. "It's just too close, and there's always the possibility of human error."
Absentee ballots postmarked Tuesday will be counted, even if they did not arrive at the clerk's office Tuesday. The ballots will be included if received by Friday.
Binnie said he will ask for a recount if the absentee ballots put Hartmann ahead.
"Cort called me to congratulate me, and said he would be asking for a recount," Binnie said. "I told him I understood and I will do the same if things change."
Because the results were within 1 percent, Whitewater City Clerk Michele Smith counted the ballots a second time with the same result.
"We will probably wait until Monday and then count all the absentee ballots and have the final canvass," Smith said. "I would expect the recount to begin Tuesday or Wednesday."
The recount follows a civil campaign. Both candidates displayed strengths, with Binnie a veteran incumbent and Hartmann having strong family ties to the area.
"We ran into each other after the election and just looked at each other and asked, 'Just two votes?'" Hartmann said. "Lynn ran a strong campaign and I'm very pleased I was able to go toe-to-toe with him my first time as a candidate."
Binnie said he was glad the two get along because Whitewater is a small community.
"I stopped off at the gas station and turned around to see Cort," Binnie said. "We congratulated each other again and were able to discuss the results. We'll see who will be on the council after next week's recount."
Smith said the election results were not reported Tuesday as quickly as she would have liked.
"We had the delay when we counted the ballots a second time, but the line to the county clerks office was busy, so we were unable to get the results into the county for its website," Smith said. "In any event, there will be a recount before a winner is determined officially."
Last updated: 8:12 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012