Provisional Ballots Will Determine Outcome for McPherson County Sheriff Race

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
August 03, 2016

The votes are all in for the McPherson County primary election, but one of the local races is still too soon to call.

Jerry Montagne challenged incumbent Larry Powell for the office of McPherson County Sheriff on the Republican ballot. By the end of Tuesday night, Montagne had edged out Sheriff Powell by a mere 16 votes. With that close of a margin, the outcome will ultimately be determined by the provisional ballots.

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility. Provisional ballots are given to ensure that no voter is turned away from the polls on election day.

For Tuesday’s primary election, 77 provisional ballots were cast in McPherson County. Most of these were given because voters had changed addresses within the county and had not updated their voter registration information.

The provisional ballots will be canvassed over the next few days, and it is expected that most of them will be eligible to be counted, which may affect the outcome for McPherson County Sheriff. It is not yet known how many of the 77 provisional ballots were cast for the Republican candidates, and how many were cast for the Democratic.

Approximately 37 percent of registered voters in McPherson County exercised their right to vote in this primary election. That is a good turnout when compared to previous years.

In other elections results, McPherson County Clerk went to Hollie Melroy, who defeated incumbent Cathy Schmidt on the Republican ballot by a margin of 563 votes.

The McPherson County commissioners will make the official announcement for McPherson County Sheriff on August 11.