Recount yields no change in District 27 representation

By Mary C. Hunt

Results of recounts in the November 6, 2018 General Election for District 27 Representative, which were performed on Monday, November 26, are in. While there were changes in some district precincts, there was no change to who will represent the District. Peri Pourier (D) and Steve Livermont (R) remain the top vote-getters and will represent the 27th in Pierre come January. 

Democratic candidate, Margaret Ross, filed petitions in each District 27 county setting in motion the recount process.

By law unless the candidates request to attend the recounts, they are held at 9 a.m. on the first Monday after the recount petitions are filed. Recount boards for Bennett, Hocken, Jackson, Oglala Lakota and Pennington counties performed recounts of the tight race but ultimately the outcome remained the same. 

According to Bennett County Auditor Susan Williams, there was no change in the County results. She said, “Everything was the same which is always a relief. It’s the tabulator machine -- it has always been right on. I haven’t had recounts in years and to have two in one year is really unusual. I can’t even remember the last recount. It’s nerve-wracking for me and it’s always a relief to know the tabulator machine counted just exactly as it was supposed to on election night.”

The Bennett County Recount Board was chosen by Circuit Court Judge John L. Brown. It consisted of  Dave Jones, representing the Republican Party; Diane VanderMay, representing the Democratic Party; and Amanda LeCroix, Bennett County State’s Attorney, who served as the referee. The rules require the recount board be comprised of a member of each party and that the referee be an attorney, who is a member of the party which won the last gubernatorial election prior the General Election (2014). Mayor Gary Rayhill was also present to assist with the tabulator machine.  

In Hocken County, Steve Livermont gained one vote.  According to Carla Smith, Auditor, the ballot in question was reviewed by the recount board. Written in pencil, the ballot was originally recorded as an undervote.

The Jackson County recount showed a gain of three votes for Steve Livermont, a gain of one for both Elizabeth May and Margaret Ross, and a gain of three votes for Peri Pourier, according to County Auditor Vicki Wilson.

The recount for Oglala Lakota County took place at Hot Springs. According to the Fall River County Auditor’s office, due to unstamped ballots, all candidates lost some votes. Steve Livermont lost two votes; Elizabeth May lost one vote; Peri Pourier lost eight votes; and Margaret Ross lost eleven votes. 

The Oglala Lakota County recount vote totals were:

Steve Livermont 236

Elizabeth May 341

Peri Pourier 2180

Margaret Ross 2003

Cindy Mohler, Auditor-elect for Pennington County, told the Booster that there were no changes to the vote counts there.

The next step in the recount process is for each auditor to file a recount canvass with the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office, which sets up a state canvass for the counties involved. Recount results are expected on the Secretary of State’s website, http://electionresults.sd.gov/.

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