Glenn recount a tie — now what?

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After a recount that took all day on Saturday, the election between Jim Glenn and D.J. Johnson was declared a tie. What happens next is unknown.

The recount, done by the Daviess County clerk’s office at the direction of the House election challenge committee, began at 7 AM and lasted until the evening. Every paper ballot cast in the election for the 13th district House seat was recounted four times by staff members of the clerk’s office. At the end of that process, Glenn had gained two votes that had not been counted for him in November, giving him a three-vote margin.

Johnson’s lawyers objected to the way one ballot was handled. The ballot was marked at the top as a straight Republican ballot, but then had votes cast throughout the ballot, except in the House race, where it had no vote cast. The clerk’s staff originally counted this as a blank ballot for the House race, meaning it did not count for either candidate. After the objection from Johnson’s lawyers, and in consultation with the county attorney, the staff changed it to a vote for Johnson due to the straight-ticket mark at the top. At this point, the main recount had ended, with Glenn having a two-vote margin.

The recount then turned to the 17 absentee ballots that had originally been rejected by the local board of elections. Of those 17, the staff determined that twelve applied to the 13th district. Seven of those twelve were once again rejected for lack of a signature or lack of an inner envelope.

The five remaining ballots had originally been rejected for the same reasons, as well as signatures that did not match. After more consultation with the county attorney, the board of elections decided to allow those ballots. Of the five, one was a spoiled ballot, one was a vote for Glenn, and three were votes for Johnson, resulting in the final tie.

The board of elections will now write up their report of the recount, and send it back to the House election challenge committee. What happens at that point is unknown. There is some talk of a coin toss to determine the winner. However, as has been pointed out numerous times by Glenn’s legal team, he is already a sworn member of the House of Representatives, and the only means for removing him from office is impeachment, which is not currently being discussed. If the House tries to remove him from office through other means, his legal team will most likely bring suit.

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