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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Tie! Smoll wins city election by a hat

  • Fate, and a "voluntold" county employee choose the third Dodge City commissioner following a tie at the election last week.
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  • With 424 votes and a little luck, Kent Smoll will keep his seat on the Dodge City Commission after tying with challenger Joe Peters for third place once 22 provisional ballots were certified, unsealed and counted Monday.
    Smoll's name was drawn from a red, "59th annual 3i Show" baseball cap by Stephanie Birney, a county employee pressed into the temporary role of "chief elector" after city and county staff members, elected officials, a sheriff's deputy and a reporter passed on the responsibility.
    In the case of a tie, by law the winner is chosen by lots. Smoll and Peters were given notice of the tie and waived their rights to witness the drawing. Smoll will serve a two-year term on the city's government.
    Ford County election officials received 24 provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are used when there is a question of validity, such as when the address on a voter's identification card does not match the official records.
    Of the 24 provisional ballots, 17 were changes of address, three were name changes after marriages, and one was a clerical error. Another voter had no identification at the poll but later verified it at the county clerk's office.
    The two not certified were because the voters thought they had made a mistake after casting a normal ballot on April 1 and asked for a provisional ballot to make a correction.
    "That's the same as casting your vote and putting it in the ballot box," Ford County Clerk Sharon Siebel said.
    The County Commission acting as the Board of Canvassers certified 1,050 votes, indicating slightly more than 9.25 percent of eligible voters making a choice.
    With all ballots certified, Rick Sowers maintained his lead with 441 votes followed by Jan Scoggins with 436. Lily Zuniga received 393, Jeff Turner received 359 and Russ McBee received 253.
    Scoggins and Sowers will serve four-year terms. The commissioner-elects will be sworn into office on April 7 and a new mayor, likely Commissioner Brian Delzeit, will be selected.
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