DERIDDER, La. (KPLC) - John Gott and Mark Herford remain headed for a runoff in the race for Beauregard sheriff following an official recount Thursday morning.
The Board of Election Supervisors — which includes the Registrar of Voters, the Clerk of Court and other parish officials recounted the early votes and absentee ballots.
Registrar of Voters, Robin Darbonne, said the confusion came from the slow roll out of absentee ballot results due to new equipment at the secretary of state level.
“Normally we have them for 8 o’clock, this time it went over and the absentee ballots were not the first ones there like they’re normally there," Darbonne said.
The Secretary of State’s Press Secretary, Tyler Brey, explained the delay:
“The paper absentee ballots were folded by the printer in a way that made the scanning processes more time-consuming and tedious than in previous years. We are working with the printer to ensure this issue does not happen in the future.”
The recount was conducted at the request of candidate Jim Jacobsen, who finished third in Saturday’s election.
“I didn’t have any expectations of the vote count being changed and I didn’t have any expectations of finding any evidence of any wrongdoing. There was just some irregularities on election night and I called for a recount because I wanted to shed some light on that. I think now having had that recount it shows the process was fair," Jacobsen said.
Both Gott and Herford were more than okay with the recount.
“I’m all for it. If anyone has any doubt in their mind — I was strongly in favor of it," Herford said.
“Every vote counts and if there’s ever a question, or issue, that doesn’t just effect this race, it effects everybody’s. Everyone has to have confidence in our electoral process, it’s very important and I’m very glad a recount was asked," Gott said.
Before absentee votes were added in Saturday, the Secretary of State’s website showed Jacobsen leading the race - and headed for a runoff with Herford. But once absentee ballots were entered, Gott and Herford surged ahead and into a runoff.
The runoff election is on Nov. 16.
Secretary of State results from Saturday’s election:
· John Gott: 31 percent (3,484 votes)
· Mark Herford: 29 percent (3,193 votes)
· Jim Jacobsen: 26 percent (2,855 votes)
· Rob Moreland: 10 percent (1,144 votes)
· Joe Chapa: 5 percent (516 votes)