Three elections remain undecided in Chelsea

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

The winners of three council races in the city of Chelsea remain undecided after the Aug. 28 election.

The winner of Place 3 will be decided by provisional ballots, while two other districts will be decided in a runoff election this fall.

Incumbent Robert Barnes and challenger David Ingram are in a virtual tie. Barnes received 736 votes, while Ingram received 735 votes.

City Clerk Becky Landers said there are still 26 provisional ballots that need to be counted, which will decide the winner of the Place 3 race.

Provisional ballots are used when the voter’s eligibility is in question.

“If their name is not on the voters list, but we think they’re in city limits, we let them vote provisionally,” Landers said.

Voters who have had a change of address within city limits are also allowed to vote provisionally. Once the provisional voters’ addresses are verified, the votes are added to the final tally.

Landers said they expect to have the final election results on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Two of Chelsea’s districts, Places 2 and 4, will be decided in a runoff on Oct. 9.

In Place 2, incumbent Tony Picklesimer received 687 votes and Scott Weygand received 685 to secure spots in a runoff election this fall. Challenger Will Lantrip received 122 votes.

In Place 4, Alison Moore Nichols and incumbent Mike Denton will also face off in a runoff. Nichols received 669 votes, Denton received 433 and David Birdsong received 399.

In the other races, results were:

  • Mayoral incumbent Earl Niven defeated Kirk Pownall, 817 to 744.
  • In place 1, incumbent Dale Neuendorf defeated Brian Horton, 806 to 640.
  • In place 5, incumbent Juanita Champion won with 828 votes. Challengers Scott Weldon and Kurt Long received 523 and 145 votes, repectively.

Landers said fewer than 1,600 people voted in Tuesday’s election. While that number is similar to previous elections, the number of registered voters has increased significantly in recent years.

“We have over 6,600 registered voters,” she said. “I was really disappointed more didn’t show up.”