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Delayed victory

Leffler’s four-vote margin withstands recount in Webster County sup race

November 28, 2012
By EMILIE NELSON-JENSON ( , Messenger News

Merrill Leffler was determined to indeed be the winner of the District 4 race for Webster County Supervisor, a recount confirmed Tuesday morning.

A recount panel consisting of three people counted ballots and came up with the same results released after the election canvass was completed Nov 13 after counting for more than an hour at the Webster County Courthouse.

Those results show that Leffler won the election by four votes.

Article Photos

Susan Hayden, left, and Merrill Leffler watch the ballot recount Tueady morning at the Webster County Courthouse. Leffler won by 4 votes over Marcy Lundberg who did not attend the recount.

Initial results from the Nov. 6 general election determined Leffler, a Republican, the winner with 1,472 votes to Democrat Marcy Lundberg's 1,461; a mere .35 percent.

As absentee ballots continued to come in, the margin was narrowed to Leffler securing 1,479 votes to Lundberg's 1,475; still less than 1 percent of the vote.

Lundberg requested the recount Nov. 16.

The recount was conducted by Shari Fitzgerald, Steve Kersten and Kim Alstott.

Lundberg selected Fitzgerald to represent her while Leffler selected Kersten. Fitzgerald and Kersten then selected Alstott to complete the panel. Allstot was elected to the Fort Dodge City Council in 2011 by one vote and a recount requested by his opponent later confirmed that he had won the election.

The three spent part of the morning sorting and counting ballots searching for undervotes and straight party votes while looking for a total of 13 undervotes from precincts 3 and 6 in the City of Fort Dodge. Once undervotes were counted, each ballot -469 from Precinct 3 and 176 from Precinct 6 - was run through a counting machine, and the final result concluded that Leffler did win the election by four votes.

"It's nice to have the process over after three weeks," said Leffler. "I always have had confidence in the machines. It was interesting to see the process and I think everyone can come away with confidence that that machines really work."

"Now it is official, but I have been going to meetings as if it always has been," he said. "I look forward to getting started and concentrating on the job."

Lundberg said two close elections in less than a year reflects the importance of casting a ballot on Election Day.

"There have been two very close elections in this part of town," said Lundberg. "Voting is a great civic duty and each voice really does matter. I want to thank my husband, kids, and my family and friends for all of their support. I wish Merrill well, he will be an excellent addition to the Board of Supervisors."

The District 4 seat, held by Clark Fletcher since 2010, become vacant due to realignment of supervisor districts. The new District 4 consists of precincts 1, 3, 6 and 7 within the city of Fort Dodge.

Leffler will serve a two-year term, beginning in January.



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