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Candidate: Zero Vote Tally Off - by 1

Saturday, November 11, 2006

WALDENBURG, Ark. —  Randy Wooten figured he'd get at least one vote in his bid for mayor of this town of 80 people _ even if it was just his own.

He didn't. Now he has to decide whether to file a formal protest.

Wooten got the news from his wife, Roxanne, who went to City Hall on Wednesday to see the election results.

"She saw my name with zero votes by it. She came home and asked me if I had voted for myself or not. I told her I did,"said Wooten, owner of a local bar.

However, Poinsett County results reported Wednesday showed incumbent William H. Wood with 18 votes, challenger Ronnie Chatman with 18 votes and Wooten with zero.

"I had at least eight or nine people who said they voted for me, so something is wrong with this picture,"Wooten said.

Poinsett County Election Commissioner Junaway Payne said the issue had been discussed but no action taken yet.

"It's our understanding from talking with the secretary of state's office that a court order would have to be obtained in order to open the machine and check the totals,"Payne said."The votes were cast on an electronic voting machine, but paper ballots were available."

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A Nov. 28 runoff is scheduled to decide the mayor's race.

"It's just very hard to understand,"Wooten said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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