Courthouse closed when candidate tried to request recount

County Clerk candidate Marvin Lessmann claims that he tried on Thursday to petition the county for a recount in his primary race, but the courthouse was closed. 

Lessmann said that his watch and phone said 4:28 or 4:29 p.m. on Thursday when he was at the Courthouse steps, but the door was locked. So was the back door. Closing time is 4:30 p.m., and Thursday was the last day to ask for a recount. 

Lessmann said that he and others have been concerned about a high number of under votes in some races. Under votes happen when a voter doesn’t select a candidate in a race, and the unofficial but complete results show 903 under votes in Lessmann’s primary race against Margaret Darter. Darter won 4,484 to 3,808, the results show.

Rhonda Wood, who will be taking her place in the Arkansas Supreme Court at the start of the year, said she would be filing a complaint because a poll worker refused to post the results at the close of voting on Tuesday. Lessmann said he shares Wood’s concern, and that a recount in close races would give the public more confidence that the process was fair. 

The Faulkner County Election Commission will be considering whether to do a recount themselves, County Clerk Melinda Reynolds said. 

(edit: a previous version of this story erroneously omitted the words "claims that he" from the first sentence — JL)

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