Judge orders sheriff to bring records from contested Ward 7 race to Justice Center

Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins has ordered Sheriff Tyler DeArmond to impound all records related to the contested Ward 7 Hopkinsville City Council Republican primary as Mark Graham and the clerk’s office have both requested a manual recount.

Initial results showed Graham losing by one vote to Doug Wilcox, but the Christian County Clerk’s Office confirmed at a Board of Elections meeting last week that 109 votes were counted in the final tally that were cast by people who actually live in Ward 8. Election officials say the problem was due to an issue with how Tenex programmed software to direct poll workers to hand out ballots to voters who live in the G104 precinct area. That precinct is split between Wards 7 and 8, but the software was directing every voter to receive the Ward 7 ballot for several hours.

Judge Atkins called Sheriff DeArmond at the beginning of his docket Wednesday morning and said he would be ordering his office to bring the records in the Ward 7 race from the County Clerk’s Office to the Christian County Justice Center.

While two of the three parties are requesting a manual recount, Assistant County Attorney Lincoln Foster doesn’t expect it to change the numbers or to decide the outcome. A recount is outlined as one of the next necessary steps established by the Attorney General’s Office to get to eventual resolution of the matter in court.

The Christian County Board of Elections is set to meet in special session at 10 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse, when they will enter into closed session to discuss pending litigation.

Judge John Atkins has also scheduled a status hearing for 2 p.m. June 1 on the matter in Christian Circuit Court.

It’s possible the primary could eventually be re-voted with a blank slate, new ballots could be sent by mail to every voter who cast a proper ballot in the primary, or some other solution could be decided.