Boothe declares win after provisional count

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2014

More than week after the general election, incumbent state Rep. Alan Boothe is declaring victory.

With only 95 votes separating Boothe and Democratic challenger Joel Williams after last Tuesday’s vote, both candidates had to wait until provisional ballots were counted on Wednesday before either was comfortable calling the District 89 race.

But with 72 provisional ballots and two military-absentee ballots counted in Pike County and one provisional vote cast in Dale County, Boothe maintained an 84-vote lead over Williams, 5,489 to 5,394.

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“Sometimes campaigns and elections are closer than you want them to be,” said Lance Hyche, Boothe’s campaign manager.“ Today, we had to wait a little longer than we wanted to, but we are just glad with the outcome. We’re satisfied with the victory. He’s happy with the win.”

Out of the 74 provisional ballots verified and counted, 30 of the provisional ballots cast were in favor of Boothe, while Williams garnered 42 of the votes in Pike County. Two of the votes were counted as under votes, which means a selection was not made for the race by the voter. One vote was cast for Boothe in Dale County.

During the counting of the provisional ballots, questions arose concerning the procedures being used to tabulate the votes, prompting Probate Judge Wes Allen to begin the count again.

“We were counting the provisional ballots, and a question was raised about the procedure we were going through, so to be safe we just decided to go ahead and start over and start from the beginning and make sure every vote was counted,” Allen said. “We had 74 ballots that we had to count. It took a little longer than usual to go through the process, but we got it all done.”

Williams was not present at the courthouse for the counting, but said although the preliminary numbers are in he was “still looking at the numbers.”

“There were over a 100 provisional ballots, and they only counted 74 of them. So there are still 30 that haven’t been accounted for. There are also questions about Dale County. There’s a box down there showing all zeros. In a race this close, all people want are an accurate count of the ballots.”

While the official results will not be certified until Friday, Williams said he considers the way he campaigned to speak louder than the amount of votes he received during the election.

“It was verified in the county where he lives and I live that I won by 600 votes,” Williams said. “I think it’s the conduct with how you get those votes not how many votes you get. I can hold my head high. I can’t think of a thing I would change. There are some things I could have done differently there, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

Williams said by law a candidates have up to 48 hours following the official announcement of election results to contest and ask for a recount. Although, Williams said he has questions about the number of ballots being counted, he does not currently plan to ask for a recount.

Allen said Friday the Canvasing Board would be going through the process to certify the provisional ballots counted Wednesday.

“We’re going to get the numbers put into the computer, flip it from unofficial to official and we’ll sign off on it,” Allen said.