Almost all of Thursday’s special-called Christian County Board of Elections meeting was in closed session and no formal action was taken, though the Board did make a filing hours later in Christian Circuit Court..
County Attorney John Soyars recommended the closed session to allow for discussion of the petition filed last week in Circuit Court by Mark Graham for a manual recount of the Ward 7 Hopkinsville City Council Republican primary.
Initial results showed Graham losing by one vote to Doug Wilcox, but the Christian County Clerk’s Office has confirmed 109 votes were counted in the final tally that were cast by people who actually live in Ward 8. 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.
After discussion of potentially holding the meeting in open session, County Clerk Mike Kem said he had a matter of a sensitive nature to discuss and the only member voting against the closed session was Christian County Sheriff’s Maj. Jason Newby.
Kem attempted to move for Christian County to revert from voting locations back to traditional precincts following the closed session, but Soyars reminded him that wasn’t possible because it wasn’t on the special-called meeting agenda.
No action was taken regarding the contested election and Soyars after the meeting said that a hearing June 1 in Christian Circuit Court is the next step.
The voting machines from the primary were already at the Christian County Justice Center and the sheriff’s office was following through on Judge John Atkins’ order to remove other evidence related to the primary from the courthouse to the justice center.
Those items included tablets that for a period of time directed poll workers to hand out the wrong ballots to some G104 voters and Soyars says it’s possible an expert from Tenex could eventually be required to testify.
In a response to Graham’s filing Thursday, the Board of Elections re-establishes the circumstances of the election and asserts a belief that the court must either determine the election or deem the nomination vacant.