Judge certifies Jeffersonville council winner as recount appeals to continue into February
A judge declares Republican Steve Webb the winner in a hotly contested race, but the controversy is not over yet.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A judge, Monday, certified a winner in a hot race for Jeffersonville City Council-at-large.
But, the battle over the ballots is not over yet.
The ruling by Clark Co. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Adams means Republican Steve Webb is the new Jeffersonville City Councilman.
But both sides agree that could change.
Webb was actually sworn-in to the at-large council seat last week, after a three-member Recount Commission declared him the winner by about 70 votes.
But one of the commissioners, John Perkins, who is a Democrat, refused to sign off, instead sending Judge Adams a letter claiming irregularities in the hand recount.
Perkins says some votes that should have been counted were not, and the entire recount process was disorganized chaos.
“I also saw one of the counters dozing off as the count was going on. Counters were coming and going. I don't think some of them understood the procedure,” Perkins told WDRB.
But Judge Adams certified Webb as the winner, saying the Recount Commission's decision does not have to be unanimous.
“The only thing we've ever done on our team is just follow the law and go by the correct procedures, so we expected that,” said Webb.
Democrat Josh Rodriquez, who won the machine count on election night, has appealed, agreeing with Perkins that the recount was flawed.
“We're going to fight this until those numbers are right. We're not going to give up on that. The people who asked me to run would not appreciate that,” he said.
But surprisingly, Steve Webb, who won the recount, is also appealing.
He wants more than a thousand absentee ballots thrown out because he says they were improperly handled.
His attorney, Larry Wilder, acknowledging losing those votes could potentially cost Webb the race.
“And if he loses because of that, he's OK with that because we must follow the law in elections. If we don't start following the law, then the people in Clark Co. should just stop voting,” said Wilder.
The judge set a Feb. 11 hearing date. So, although the votes were cast almost two months ago, it will be months more before the election is finally decided.
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