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Politics, Elections and Government

Jon Carpenter Prevails In Clay County Election Recount

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Julie Denesha
A statue outside the Clay County Commission meeting room.

Carpenter will face Republican Lydia McEvoy, the Clay County collector, in the general election. They’re seeking to replace Gene Owen, who chose not to run for re-election.

Jon Carpenter has prevailed over Cathy Rinehart in the Democratic primary for Clay County Western Commissioner, following a recount Thursday by the Clay County Election Board.

The recount showed Carpenter with 55% of the vote to Rinehart’s 45%.

The recount was ordered after the Election Board discovered discrepancies from Tuesday’s unofficial primary results.

Those earlier results had shown Rinehart getting 73% of the vote to 27% for Carpenter. But election officials then discovered the unofficial results showed zero votes in 21 of 40 precincts for Carpenter, and they knew that couldn’t be correct.

The machine recount, which took more than eight hours, looked at all races and votes on about 44,000 ballots from 81 precincts, but the most prominent contested race was the Western Commissioner Democratic primary.

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Jon Carpenter

Carpenter has served four terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. Rinehart is the Clay County Assessor.

The final official vote will be certified soon. Carpenter will face Republican Lydia McEvoy, the Clay County collector, in the general election. They’re seeking to replace Gene Owen, who chose not to run for re-election.

“I am grateful for all the hard and long work the folks at the election board did to do this recount and am glad we were able to get to the accurate results,” Carpenter texted late Thursday night. “It was important for not only this race but for the safeguarding of our democracy.”

The election discrepancies were not the result of any problems or tampering with the ballots. Instead, they stemmed from programming errors on the tabulators, according to Clay County Election Board Director Patty Lamb.

Lamb said officials knew the votes were there on ballots but they weren’t showing up on the voting report Tuesday night. The vendor, Adkins Printing, is investigating the cause of the error.

Lynn Horsley is a freelance journalist in Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @LynnHorsley.

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