A final count of provisional ballots on Tuesday did not result in any changes in the winners of a handful of city and school board elections in Johnson County that had been considered too close to call after the Nov. 2 general election.
Vote margins fore three city council wards and two school board seats were as narrow as 36 to 60 votes.
But in most cases, the final count certified Tuesday by the Board of County Canvassers only increased the margin a bit, leaving the projected winners unchanged.
Here are the outcomes of the closest races:
- Lenexa City Council Ward 3 –Melanie Arroyo won with 1,320 votes over incumbent Corey Hunt’s 1,253. Before the final count, she held a 60-vote edge over Hunt. That increased to 67 after Tuesday’s count.
- Overland Park City Council Ward 5 – Sam Passer increased his vote margin by five votes to 46. He had 2,998 to Sheila Rodriguez’s 2,952.
- Shawnee City Council Ward 3 – This was the only race that tightened a bit. But Angela Stiens held her lead with 1,998 over incumbent Lisa Larson-Brunnell, who finished with 1,962. Stiens’ final margin turned out to be 36 votes.
- Blue Valley school board Position 6 – Jim McMullen finished with 13,797 to Lindsay Weiss’ 13,746. His lead increased from 48 to 51 votes on Tuesday.
- Olathe School school board Position 3 – Julie Steele won with 12,613 to Jennifer Gilmore’s 12,548, a difference of 65 votes. Gilmore led after Election Day, but Steele pulled ahead after mail-in ballots began to be counted on Wednesday.
Other close elections
The margin in the Overland Park mayor’s race also stayed roughly the same on Tuesday, with Curt Skoog at 20,243 and Mike Czinege at 19,530.
Skoog will be sworn in as mayor in early December, along with six newly elected councilmembers.
The only surprises on Tuesday were in relatively low-profile races for an at-large seat on the Lake Quivira Council and the Monticello Drainage District Director.
Election Commissioner Fred Sherman announced the write-in winner for one of the Lake Quivira positions to be Joe P. Walsh with 25 votes.
The drainage district had an eight-way write-in tie, so candidates’ names were put on folded pieces of paper and drawn from a bowl by Commissioner Jeff Meyers.
The names of Peter Jones and Robert Knight were drawn.
The actions Tuesday put a final decision on which problematic ballots cast on Election Day should be counted and which should not.
The board decided to count 797 ballots that had minor problems, like the lack of a signature or ID.
Another 187 ballots with more serious problems, like a lack of voter registration or a mailed ballot that was postmarked or arrived too late, were not counted.
And 203 ballots where the voter came to the wrong polling place and could not vote on all of the races were partially counted.
For the Nov. 2 election, a total of 111,761 votes were cast out of 442,236 registered voters, making the 25% turnout a record for local races, Sherman said.
Candidates have until the end of Wednesday to ask for a recount.