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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Laura Shepard-Johnson (right) with the Washington County Election Commission takes inventory Tuesday of election equipment from voting centers as it arrives back at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville. Equipment and ballots were being collected from 47 voting centers in the county.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A pair of races in Fayetteville, plus one each in Goshen and Elkins, will be decided in a Dec. 4 runoff.

Washington County's Election Commission approved the ballots for the runoff Wednesday. The commission also approved early voting for the runoff at the County Clerk's Office and seven election-day vote centers.

The runoffs are for the Fayetteville City Council, Ward 1, Position 1 seat which pits Olivia Trimble against Sonia Gutierrez. The contest for the Ward 4, Position 1 seat between Teresa Turk and John La Tour also will be on the ballot.

Voters in Elkins will decide the Ward 1, Position 2 seat on the City Council between Matt Francis and Alissa Noel.

Goshen voters will choose between Zeb Rone and Cathy Oliver for mayor.

The commission reviewed more than 300 provisional ballots Tuesday, with an eye toward three close races.

Commissioners were told five additional votes were found in the race for state House District 89 seat between Megan Godfrey, the Democratic challenger, and Republican Rep. Jeff Williams. Godfrey led the race on election day by 30 votes and the commission found two additional votes for Godfrey and three votes for Williams. Jennifer Price, election coordinator, said two overseas/military ballots might be returned that include that race.

The commission checked the races for two seats on the Quorum Court. In the District 10 contest in which Andrea Jenkins led Robert Dennis by 30 votes on election day there were 12 additional votes found, with Jenkins getting seven and Dennis getting five.

In the race for the District 14 seat on the Quorum Court, in which Ann Harbison led Jim Wilson by 19 votes on election day, the commission found seven additional votes, with Harbison getting four and Wilson three.

Price told the commissioners the number of votes cast during the early voting period exceeded the votes cast on election day. Price said 33,726 votes were cast during early voting compared to 31,283 cast election day.

Price said Washington County voters continued a trend of making use of the early voting period. She said in the 2016 general election, 60 percent of the votes cast were during early voting.

"I definitely think we're going to see more votes cast early," Price said. "That's good for the voters and it's good for Washington County. We wouldn't have enough election equipment to process all the voters if they all showed up on election day."

NW News on 11/08/2018

Print Headline: Commission OKs runoff election

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