District 45 recount remains narrow between Stiles and Roberts
BY THE NUMBERS
District 45 Ballot Counting
6 counting tables
2 people calling out votes per table
2 people tallying votes per table
2 people monitoring the count per table
2,258 ballots per table
1,129 ballots per person taking a tally
Beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing long past normal business hours, volunteers gathered in Judge Tracy Schumacher's court in the Cleveland County Courthouse to recount the State House District 45 ballots on Thursday. This recount comes on the heels of a narrow race between the Republican incumbent representative Aaron Stiles and Democratic challenger Paula Roberts, a race that, as of Nov. 7, saw Stiles win by a margin of 18 votes.
Barry Roberts, attorney and husband to Paula Roberts said the margin was a statistical anomaly. “This is literally anybody’s game.” Roberts said at 5:12 p.m. prior to the finalization of the count. “The official tally is 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent because the election board does not go out three decimal places.” At that time he said the majority of the 13,550 ballots had been counted and all of the precincts had been distributed but he was unsure how much longer the count would take.
The recount began at 11:30 a.m. and the totals remained even all afternoon said Representative Bobby Cleveland of State House District 20 and former Cleveland County Republican Chair. “It is my understanding that even after six hours (as of 5:30 p.m.) Roberts has net maybe one [vote], but we won’t know anything until it is done.”
Hal Ezzell, attorney and volunteer for the count, said the counting system was fairly straightforward. “There are six tables,” Ezzell said. “Each table has two callers—one from each party—two talliers and each candidate has one watcher at each table as well. If there are any problems the table will [signal] the election board members by waving a flag and writing a note. Then the election board secretary, Jim Williams will take a look at it.”
Barry Roberts said Judge Schumacher would determine whether to continue or recess and continue Friday morning, which, as of 5:45 p.m., appeared to be to continue. However, Cleveland indicated that the judge would decide again around 7:30 p.m.
Keep checking back to OUDaily.com for further updates to this story.
8:48 p.m. UPDATE: Officials still are totaling up vote precincts with only a few left. Stiles leads the recount by 13 votes.
9:31 p.m. UPDATE: Final count, Stiles wins the recount by 17 votes.