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Recount puts Boggs back in race for seat on city council

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Election 2010

By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - On election night, Tim Boggs lost out to fellow incumbent Harry Cooper by five votes for the sixth and final Democratic nomination slot for the fall city council race in Hillview.

    On Friday, action by Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress allowed a recount in the Brooks 12 precinct, reversing the final standings.

    By virtue of the decision, Hillview voters will have six Democrats - Kim Whitlock, JoAnn Wick, Randall Hill, David Conn, Greg Burton and Boggs - and one Repubican - Karen Johnson - to cast ballots to determine the six who will serve beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

    Burress conducted a lengthy hearing Friday at the request of county clerk Kevin Mooney after a problem arose in the Brooks 12 precinct early on election day.

    When Barb Rogers went to cast her ballot, she noticed that it had city council races on the paper. She knew that she did not live within the city limits and should not cast a vote.

    Mooney said he was instructed by the state board of elections that although Hillview had territory in the precinct, no one lived in that area who should be allowed to vote in the city elections.

    He felt the mistake came when the county ordered 750 county paper ballots and 50 city paper ballots for that precinct. The order was reversed and when the precinct officers ran out of county ballots, they started to use the city ballots.

    When the mistake was realized, Mooney testified that Harp Enterprises printed new county ballots and sheriff’s chief deputy Danny Thompson went to pick them up. Until the ballots were secured, voters were sent to the e-slate machine, which was available for those with special needs or if the line got backed up on the e-scan paper ballots.

    A total of 70 ballots were cast on the e-slate machines but none were cast for city of Hillview officials.

    Much of Friday’s hearing was spent on determining whether the integrity of the ballots were compromised. After listening to over two hours of testimony, Burress determined that the integrity of the election was not jeopardized.

    The Bullitt County Board of Elections spend the afternoon presenting and counting each of the paper ballots.

    At the end of the process, Burress agreed to throw out the 99 votes cast in the Hillview City Council by 25 individuals from the Brooks precinct. No other races were affected.

    The recount showed that Harry Cooper, who finished in the sixth and final spot with a five-vote advantage over Boggs, had received nine votes from the Brooks precinct. Boggs had received only three.

    When Burress threw out the Brooks ballots, the final results were: JoAnn Wick (474), Kim Whitlock (473), Randall Hill (390), Greg Burton (386), David Conn (355) and Boggs (332).

    Other finishers were Cooper (331), Carolyn Jesse (288), Marion Arlis Hill (234) and Danny Smothers (229).

    Even before the proceedings started, Cooper told Mooney that he had no hard feelings and understood the situation. He said win or lose, he appreciated the work of the precinct workers and things just happen sometimes in politics.

    Cooper, who first got involved with the city when he moved to Hillview and was active with the Operation Santa program, has served on the council for various stints over the past 14 years.

    Following the hearing, Mooney said he was glad all the counts matched.

    “That proved the machine’s accuracy,” said Mooney. “I’m glad we recounted it in front of the circuit judge. It shows that the machine properly reads the ballots that are presented.”

    The clerk was impressed with Burress’ methodical approach to learn about the process to make sure everything was done properly.

    “As much as I hated to go to court, I knew it was the right thing to do and I’m glad it came to a positive resolution,” said Mooney. “The court was the proper place to go.”

    He was appreciative of the work of county attorney Walter Sholar and of all the precinct workers.

    “The good thing was that 47 (of 48) precincts went very well,” said Mooney. “What we went through should go to serve the confidence of the voters that the procedure does work.”