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Recount in Fairfield's mayoral race is Tuesday

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield residents should have a definitive answer Tuesday, Dec. 10, about who will preside over the town as mayor.

Connie Boyer and Michael Halley were the top two vote-getters in the November election, though neither got more than 50 percent of the vote. That set up a runoff election on Dec. 3, the result of which was a tie, 1,048 votes for each candidate. To break the tie, a name was drawn from a hat, and that name was Connie Boyer.

Michael Halley requested a recount of the nearly 2,100 ballots, which will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The recount board which will perform the task of hand counting every day will consist of three members, one chosen by each of the candidates and one mutually agreed upon by both sides. Halley selected Greg Hatchette as his representative, while Boyer selected Jim Salts. Salts and Hatchette selected Sheri Neff as the third member.

The board will review the ballots to determine the voter’s intent for each one. If there is a dispute, the matter will be decided by a vote of the three members on the board.

Jefferson County Auditor Scott Reneker said he expects the recount to last somewhere between three and five hours. Last year’s recount for the Iowa House 82 seat between Jeff Shipley and Phil Miller involved counting about three times as many ballots, and that took more than a day.

The recount will be conducted in the basement of the Jefferson County Courthouse. It is open to the public, though only the board members are allowed to talk. The public an only observe.

Whoever receives the most votes will be the winner. If the recount changes the vote count, but the count still ends in a tie between the candidates, Boyer will remain the winner since her name was drawn from the hat.