Election officials complete recount in Walker County
by David Lazenby
Jun 15, 2010 | 1879 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A review of Walker County ballots held Tuesday as part of a statewide recount in the Republican primary for governor got third-place finisher Tim James one vote closer to his bid for a July 13 runoff against Bradley Byrne.

Linda Ensor, the chairman of the Republican Party of Walker County, reported Tuesday evening that Robert Bentley, who received 167 more votes than James according to the original count statewide, lost a vote locally while James’ count remained the same.

In Walker County, James ended up with 1,848 votes to Bentley’s 1,547 nods.

Also losing a vote was Byrne, who assured his own place in the runoff by receiving nearly 28 percent of the votes in the June 1 primary. Bentley and James each received slightly more than 25 percent of the votes cast statewide.

With the exception of Roy Moore, who received two extra votes in the recount, the totals for the other gubernatorial candidates remained the same in Walker County.

Dozens of certified election workers and court officials were involved in the recount performed Tuesday evening in the basement of the Walker County Courthouse. The recount included provisional and absentee ballots.

The cost of performing the recount in Walker County was estimated to be $5,300, which was paid for in advance by James, who requested the measure.

Walker County election officials had planned to perform the recount Monday. However, the job was postponed because of difficulty GOP officials had in getting paid for the work in advance by James as is stipulated in state election laws.

“One thing that has caused a problem is the James’ campaign would never get the funds to us for the recount,” said Ensor.

She added that the James camp mailed a check for Walker County to its Birmingham headquarters. However, after learning the check was for $2,725, slightly more than half of the amount requested, Ensor refused to do the recount until the anticipated bill was paid in full.

“I told them we would not do the count until we received the money — bottom line,” said Ensor, who had the additional funds sent to her by overnight mail in order to arrange for the recount on Tuesday.

Brett Hall, the communications director for James, said he was unaware of any problems with the payment.

Also, before the recount could be completed, Ensor said a computer program for the machines had to be rewritten so only the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates’ votes would be tallied.

The recount will continue today with reviews being conducted in Butler and Shelby counties. When the recount is completed, results will be sent to the Secretary of State’s office for certification.