HYDE PARK–The city office building boasted many nervous, tapping toes as provisional votes were read and expected to determine the new mayor Wednesday. After a race separated by just one vote, the addition of provisional votes caused candidate Tom Price to say he will probably request a recount.Bryan Cox and Price walked away with 435 and 433 votes, respectively, an increase of six votes for Cox and three votes for Price.Out of the 12 provisional votes submitted to the county, only nine were determined valid. City recorder and election official Marsha Hymas read each of the nine ballots aloud and handed each to Mayor Kooyman and the Board of Canvasses, which is also the City Council, to read.Because Cox currently serves on the council, he opted out of reading the ballots aloud with the rest of the board.Price said he will probably request a recount Thursday morning “because I have too many people depending on me.” Despite admitting that the ballot reading was like “Chinese water torture,” Price said, “I took it better than I thought I was going to.””I feel like a winner tonight because I’ve met so many nice people in Hyde Park,” said Price. “I’ve gotten an earful from a lot of them, which has really been good. I was glad to see it.”Cox said he had expected Price to request a recount if the situation allowed for one, and said he probably would have done the same thing in Price’s position. “You know, all week long I’ve been really comfortable,” said Cox, “but reading them one at a time like that was like a public flogging.”A recount is allowed when the results are within one vote per precinct, of which Hyde Park has two. This means that if there had been a difference of three votes, candidates could not request a recount, but a difference of two or less allows for such a request to be made.Price must submit a written request to the election official within seven days. Once it is received, the city has seven days in which to complete a recount. Hymas said a recount entails a meeting of three election judges, of whom one would read all of the mayoral votes and two keep a tally.After recounting the votes, a tie would entail a coin flip to determine who will serve the four-year term, according to Hymas. In the event of another one or two vote difference, Hymas said she would need to consult with the county before stating what actions would take place, but said only one recount can be requested. If the difference in votes is three or more, the candidate with the most votes will become the next mayor.
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