No changes in Columbus race

Published 12:49 pm Monday, November 11, 2019

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Incumbent Richard Hall remains third place winner

COLUMBUS—The council race in Columbus did not change following five provisional votes being outstanding. 

The Polk County Board of Elections met Friday morning and certified three of the provisional ballots. There were two that were disapproved. 

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Following Tuesday’s unofficial results, incumbent Richard Hall had 71 votes for the third council seat, followed by Steve E. Christopher with 69 votes and incumbent Margaret Metcalf with 68 votes. 

Hall received two additional votes from the provisional votes and Metcalf received three additional votes, which placed Hall in third place with 73 total votes and Metcalf in fourth place with 71 total votes. 

Brent Jackson and incumbent Mark Phillips secured the top two spots on Tuesday night. Jackson was the high vote getter with 92 votes and Phillips secured 76 votes. 

In order for a candidate to request a recount, there would have to be a one-vote difference, according to Polk County Board of Elections Director Cliff Marr, so no recount is possible in the Columbus Council race. 

The board of elections could decide to hold a discretionary recount regardless. 

The actual numbers are still not official until the board of elections canvasses the votes next Friday, Nov. 15. 

None of the other races were close enough to change. Saluda had a race of three for two council seats with Bob Ross and incumbent Stanley Walker securing seats over incumbent Leon Morgan. 

In Tryon, incumbent Mayor Alan Peoples retained his seat with no challengers and incumbent commissioners Chrelle Booker and Crys Armbrust retained their seats over write-in challenger Heidi Selbee. 

There were some provisional votes in Saluda and Tryon but there were not enough to affect any races. 

The Polk County Board of Elections conducted a sample audit count on Friday afternoon where the board randomly picked two precincts, which this year were Saluda and Columbus 7. The board also tested the new voting machines in Tryon during Tuesday’s election and are required to hand audit the Tryon precinct as well because of the new machines, which will be used in all precincts during the 2020 election.