The mayoral race in the south-central Iowa town of St. Charles was finally decided Tuesday — a full two weeks after election day. The initial results, on election night, showed incumbent Joan Brown defeated challenger Dennis Smith by one vote.
Afterward, an absentee ballot arrived at the county auditor’s office in favor of Smith, which bumped the race to a deadlock. Last week, Madison County Auditor Joan Welch drew a name from a hat and Smith’s name emerged. Brown requested another recount.
Welch says all of the ballots were counted three times on Tuesday and each time, Brown came out of top. “What happened is Dennis lost the vote, so his went from 112 down to 111 and Brown’s increased by one vote from 112 to 113,” Welch explained. That means Mayor Brown will serve another term in St. Charles, unless another twist comes into play, which Welch doesn’t think will happen.
“The only recourse we would see is that they could contest the whole election, but to do so, they would have to state there was fraud or voter abuse,” Welch explained. Smith gave up his seat on the St. Charles City Council to run for mayor.
Contributed by Michael Cooley, KSIB, Creston