From Post Staff Reports
It was determined Friday at the meeting of the Wilson County Election Commission Provisional Counting Board that Steve Jones will stay as the elected board member of the Lebanon Special School District. Jones had trumped fellow candidate Johnie Payton in the Nov. 6 election by just nine votes when unofficial results were released. The closeness of the race left many to wonder if the provisional ballots would sway these results.
Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said today that each candidate had the same number of votes in the provisional ballots counted. They each had seven, he said.
Of the ballots completed during Early Voting and on Election Day 65 ballots were found to be eligible to vote and were counted.
Provisional voting allows voters who are not readily found on the official roles of registered voters in Wilson County an opportunity to complete a paper ballot on or before Election Day. Their vote is held in a locked and sealed Provisional Ballot box while the circumstances of each voter are fully researched and their eligibility determined, Warren said.
There are many reasons a person may or may not be eligible to vote. As part of the research process the provisional voters information is given to the Tennessee Dept. of Safety and DHS to determine if that person attempted to register to vote through either state agency in a timely manner. If any of the state agencies have a record of the persons attempted registration it is forwarded to Wilson County and the vote will be counted.
During the research period each provisional voter is also checked against the registration records of all 95 Tennessee Counties. Voter registration in Tennessee is by county. Voters must be registered to vote in the county where they reside.
The Provisional Voters whose votes did not count will receive a letter from the Election Commission informing them of the outcome. As part of the Provisional process each voter filled out a voter registration application and these forms will be processed making them eligible to vote in the next election.
Provisional voting is one more way the Wilson County Election Commission lives up to its mission to ensure the integrity of every vote Warren said.
Updated election results for the November 6, 2012 election may be seen at www.WilsonElections.com.