Only three votes separated Clayton Leverett and Tom Engler for second place in last week’s election for Llano Commisioner Precinct 1. Peter Jones, who garnered the most votes, 584, had been waiting all week to see who he would face; that wait is over.
After a five-hour manual recount Wednesday, June 6, three votes still separated Leverett and Engler leaving Engler to face Jones in the runoff on July 31.
Tom Engler received 432 votes to Leverett’s 429, which allowed Leverett the option of calling for a recount.
Wednesday morning at 10am, the recount began at the Llano County Election Administrator’s Office. Precinct chairs from each of the other three precincts, Teresa Gray, MaryAnn Hefner, and Sarah Franklin, assisted Fermin Oritz, Republican Party Chairman and Recount Chair.
Both Engler and Leverertt were allowed to watch the recount and bring as many as two witnesses, as long as those witness have a Certificate of Appointment. Engler and an associate were present at the recount.
"The job that the Elections Administration did in providing all the data in a professional and timely fashion made our job much easier," said Ortiz, "Because of their competency, it took us only five hours to do what we assumed would take us a day and a half."
At 10am, all 1,649 ballots from the Precinct 1 election began printing out, and when that was done, a hand count began, with Ortiz calling out a name and the other three each making a hash mark to keep track. Votes were tallied in tens, to lessen the chance for error and to make it easier to catch any as they cropped up.
There were a total of 54 absentee votes cast, 1,030 early votes and 619 cast on the day of the election. Of the 1,649 ballots, 70 ballots had no votes for any of the Commissioner candidates.
According to Ortiz, 96% of voters in the primaries were Republican for Llano County. Overall, 3,891 votes were cast in the Republican primary in Llano County, or 27.96% of the population.
In the Democratic Primary, only 325 voters showed up at the polls, amounting to 2.34% of the county’s population.
Ortiz joked, "Today [for the recount] is the only day I wish I were a Democrat; to review 139 votes instead of 3,890 the Republican Primary had, would have been a lot easier."
The Primary Run-Off will be held at the end of July, with Early Voting scheduled for July 23-27 and Election Day for July 31, 2012