Judge to decide recount issue on Friday

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Jeff Feuquay, who challenged incumbent Vernon County Prosecutor Lynn Ewing III in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary, has petitioned for a recount of the election. The two-vote margin was less than one percent of the vote and in such cases a recount is generally granted -- if the losing candidate challenges the election as Feuquay has done.

"The race was so close that I think it is crucial that the intent of the voters is clear," Feuquay said. "Too many people voted for me and too many people worked hard for me to not pursue this."

The lead in the race see-sawed back and forth several times on election night as the votes were tallied. Toward the end of the evening the tally on the screen outside the Vernon County Clerk's office seemed to indicate that Ewing had won by two votes, then County Clerk Tammi Beach announced, after checking to see that all votes were counted that Feuquay had gained three votes, leaving the results at 1,251 to 1,250 in favor of Feuquay.

Beach spent Wednesday and Thursday last week certifying the election and at the end of two days certified Ewing's win with 1,253 votes to Feuquay's 1,251.

Beach said the new electronic voting machines did their job well, but that in some cases voters were not marking the ballots correctly.

"I can say the machines did their job well," Beach said. "There were a lot of cases where the voters just didn't follow the instructions. There were names underlined, some circled the names, there were checkmarks on some ballots, it all made it very difficult."

Circuit Court Judge James Bickel will decide the matter in a preliminary hearing Friday, at 3 p.m., in the Vernon County Courthouse. He will determine if there will be a recount and what type it will be.

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