Platte County may need to hold new election in two Parkville wards due to mishap

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- Tuesday's election is in the rear-view mirror for most of us. But in Platte County, two races are still undecided.

The votes are counted, but for the Parkville Board of Aldermen, questions remain. It turns out a mistake at the election board could force a new election.

"April elections are always fun because there are a lot of districts voting. We end up with like 52 ballot styles," said Chris Hershey, Platte County Board of Elections director.

An observant voter noticed something on her ballot looked off.

"This voter thought she was going to be voting on Ward 3, and she instead voted on Ward 1. So we called to check that address with the city," Hershey said.

It turns out, Lime Stone Court, which just became a city street in 2014, had been put into the wrong ward. By time the mistake was caught, 13 people who live there had already voted.

And at the end of the day, the candidates for Ward 1 were tied at 187 votes each. In Ward 3, the top two candidates were split by four votes, 215-211, and a third candidate finished with only 22 votes.

"We're considering some options to make it right because obviously in this case these two wards are justifiably in question," Hershey said.

The election board will meet Friday to certify the results, and ultimately a judge will decide what happens next.

"The most likely scenario will be a new election. The tied race would've required a runoff anyway," Hershey said.

A new election would be only for Wards 1 and 3 voters to pick an alderman.

In Ward 1, Weston Coble told FOX4, "It is unfortunate that there was a mistake with the Ward 1 and Ward 3 district lines that impacted multiple individuals and other issues that have been brought to my attention regarding the April 2nd election. It is my understanding that the Platte County Elections Board is exploring ways to address this issue to ensure that the voters are able to vote on their elected representation for the Parkville Board of Alderman. My sincere hope is a fair resolution to this issue will occur in the near future. I have informed the Platte County Board of Elections I would support options that save taxpayer money and allow the voters to have their voices heard."

His opponent said campaigning again will be challenging and worries a new election could have low turnout.

"We're going to have to really dig and make sure everyone gets motivated to come out and vote," said Philip Wassmer, the incumbent Ward 1 alderman in Parkville.

In Ward 3, Scott Herbig told FOX4 in a statement, “This is an unfortunate situation but I do look forward to getting an opportunity to make my case to the residents of Ward 3 again."

His opponent said Tuesday's results are a reminder every single vote truly counts.

"It's always good when you have that opportunity for the people to express their opinions and to vote and have that chance to have their wishes listened to and to adhere to them," Parkville Ward 3 Alderman Douglas Wylie said.

The board of elections said the address mix-up wasn't a problem in previous elections because most races were uncontested. There's no firm timeline on when a judge could hear the case and determine when a new election might be held.

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