|Special Election Results|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:55|
Typically on election night we know who won. But not this time, and here's why. The numbers started coming in shortly after 9:00 with four of the seven precincts reporting in addition to the absentee votes.
This brought the tally for each candidate to nine-hundred and fifty-seven votes for Mark Doland and nine-hundred and sixty-seven votes for Tom Rielly, leaving a narrow 10 vote margin between the two candidates.
As more people showed up at the courthouse, the tension was present in the room as it was clearly going to be a close race.
After a couple minutes passed by, the numbers from New Sharon were ready to be written on the board. 134 votes for Doland and 32 for Reilly. Then the numbers from Fremont were given, 76 more votes for Doland and 25 more for Rielly. Bringing the tally up to this point one-thousand one-hundred and sixty seven for Doland and one-thousand and twenty-four for Rielly. A margin of 143 votes with only one more precinct yet to report.
Suspense was in the air as everyone waited for the results. It seemed a likely victory for Doland considering the other Oskaloosa precinct reported numbers that favored Doland, but it was too close to call.
Then, a little after 9:30 the call came in as auditor Sue Brown and staff readied the numbers for reporting. The numbers were then written on the board--224 for Doland and 351 for Rielly. That left a margin of 16 votes between the candidates with Doland in the lead. And then an announcement about the absentee ballots.
"We have approximately 60 to 65 that haven't been returned", says an election official.
Meaning, there are about 60 absentee votes that could still be counted -- some of which could still be in the mail. 63% of the absentee votes already in went to riley, a trend has Doland's attention.
"I'm a little nervous we'll see how it goes out. I'm a little bit cautiously optimistic. I guess I'll put it that way", says Mark Doland.
Rielly was not at the courthouse on Tuesday night, but told our coverage partner OskyNews that, "We ran a good campaign. I've got no regrets and hoepefully votes come my way."
The final election results will be determined next Monday 9 AM during the County Supervisors meeting. At which time the votes will be canvassed and made official.
Eighteen percent of registered voters turned out for the special election. Sixty-seven percent voted in the general election last November.
Over the weekend, former Mahaska County Supervisor Ken Rozenboom endorsed Tom Rielly saying the election had become a referendum on a regional airport. Mark Doland criticized the airport plans saying people were not told their land might be considered for the project.
Rielly said using eminent domain to take land would be a last resort and explained he thinks the airport makes Mahaska County much more competitive in commerce, transportation, and attracting jobs. Three sites are being considered for a new airport to be shared by Oskaloosa and Pella. Those sites are along Highway 163 between the two cities and roughly near the smaller community of Leighton. CRI will have continuing coverage of this special election.