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Recounts don’t change two Benton County mayoral races

by Mike Jones | November 15, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.
Election Commissioner Harlan Stee sorts ballots for a recount Monday at the Rogers Election Commission building in Rogers. Visit for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

ROGERS -- A vote recount Monday for Centerton mayor didn't change a thing. Bill Edwards is headed to a fourth term.

The recount was one of two hand counts done by the Benton County Election Commission and staff.

The other recount was for Highfill mayor where Chris Holland and Jeremy Rogers were on the ballot.

There was no change in either race when compared to Nov. 8 general election results, Kim Dennison, Benton County election coordinator, said after the recounts were finished being tabulated in the afternoon.

Edwards defeated four opponents in the general election. Edwards did not get 50% of the vote but won because he was more than 20% ahead of his nearest competitor, Michael Commet, according to unofficial results.

A candidate who receives at least 40% of the votes cast and is at least 20% ahead of the votes cast for the second-place candidate avoids a runoff, according to state statute.

Commet filed a petition for a recount two days after the election and asked for a hand recount, County Clerk Betsy Harrell said. Commet was present at the recount.

Commet said afterward he asked for a recount because people were not happy with the results.

"People just wanted to know" said Commet, who noted 51% of the votes cast were not for Edwards. "People were not happy with the election. I could not ignore that."

Edwards received 2,515 votes (48%) followed by Commet with 1,014 votes (19%). Others in the race were Wendy Henson with 838 votes (16%), Lance Johnson with 631 votes (12%) and Mike Blakeman with 226 votes (4%), according to unofficial results.

Commet said he didn't ask for the recount as a way to somehow get into a runoff with Edwards. He did it for the people who had questions about the race.

"This is the mechanism," he said of a recount. "This is is part of the process."

Edwards said he was happy with the results after the recount.

Centerton has 12,259 registered voters, according to the Benton County Clerk's Office.

In Highfill, Holland received 290 votes and Rogers had 288 votes in the recount, the same as Election Day.

Rogers filled a petition for a recount the day after the election, Dennison said.

Michelle Rieff, the current mayor, did not seek reelection.

Highfill has 1,160 registered voters, according to the clerk's office.

The Election Commission also processed 393 provisional ballots Monday during a break in recounting. The three-member commission accepted 52 ballots. Reasons for rejection ranged from people registered to vote in another county, mainly Washington County, people not registered to vote or people who registered to vote after the deadline.

Those provisional ballots and any outstanding military ballots could still impact the Highfill race, Dennison said. It would depend on if any of those ballots were in a Highfill precinct. They have not yet been reviewed.

Vote totals

There were 91,422 votes cast in the county during the Nov. 8 election. The county has 181,382 registered voters.

The Benton County Election Commission will certify the results Friday.

Source: NWA Democrat-Gazette


Print Headline: Recounts don’t change two mayoral outcomes


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