Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

February 1, 2013

Mahaska County election down to the wire

DUANE NOLLEN
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska County will learn who will be its next supervisor on Monday.

The special election between Tom Rielly and Mark Doland was too close to call Tuesday night. Doland had a 16 vote lead over Rielly — 1,391 for Doland versus 1,375 for Rielly.

The election will be decided by the status of about 65 absentee votes. The outstanding absentee ballots were either surrendered at the polls or were still in the postal system, having been postmarked by Monday.

Mahaska County Auditor Sue Brown said the election will be decided by a simple majority.

In case of a tie, the names of the two contenders would be placed in a container and the board of supervisors would draw the winner,  Mahaska County Deputy Auditor — Elections Teresa Paige said.

County election officials are confident that the vote will not be a tie.

Tuesday’s election was unique in Mahaska County.

“We haven’t had an election this close,” Brown said.

Brown said county officials will canvas the vote Monday morning.

“We have to wait for the mail — then we’ll canvas,” she said. “It will be late morning” by the time a winner is declared, she added.

Paige said the voter turnout for the special election was 2,768 — about 18 percent.