A recount of the votes cast in the Aug. 25 municipal election has been requested and the Enterprise City Council will convene in a special called meeting Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.
Interim City Clerk/Treasurer Beverly Sweeney sent a public notice of the special called meeting Sept. 8 citing setting “estimated cost of recount and security required” as the tentative agenda item.
The two requests for a recount were filed with Sweeney separately by Lister Reeves and Perry Vickers, two of the four candidates on the Aug. 25 ballot for the position of mayor of the city of Enterprise.
The two requests for a recount were filed by the Sept. 3 deadline cited in the Alabama League of Municipalities Municipal Election Calendar which states that for anyone “with standing to contest the election to request a recount which must be within 48 hours of the official canvass on Sept. 1.”
According to Alabama law, “the petitioner must be prepared to pay the cost of the recount and must be required to give security to cover these costs in an amount as determined by the municipal governing body based upon an estimate of actual costs.
“The recount must be conducted under the supervision of a trained and certified poll official,” according to Alabama law. “Representatives of opposing interests shall be given at least 24 hours’ notice and shall be invited to participate in the recount.
“If the recount produces a change in precinct totals of sufficient magnitude to alter the result of the election, the outcome shall constitute grounds for an election contest as now prescribed by law,” the law continues. “If the recount of the resulting contest alters the result of the election, the cost of the recount shall be borne by the municipality.”
A count of the eight provisional ballots cast Aug. 25 did little to affect the results.
The Enterprise City Council met Sept. 1 to canvass the results from the municipal elections and to count the provisional votes cast.
A provisional ballot is used on election day at the polls to record a vote when there are questions about a prospective voter's eligibility, such as the person’s name does not appear on the voter list, that must be resolved before the vote can count.
After the polls close on election day, the provisional ballots are given to the county voter registrar for authentication. All authenticated ballots are then returned to the chief voting official to be counted at the official vote canvasing.
After the provisional ballots were opened, Enterprise City Council President Perry Vickers announced the new totals for each candidate in the mayoral, District 1 and District 2 races.
In the mayoral race, Bill Baker’s total number of votes was updated to 942, to include 883 district votes, 57 absentee votes and two provisional ballot votes. Mayor Bill Cooper’s votes totaled 1,651 including 1,541 district votes, 105 absentee votes and five provisional ballot votes. Lister Reeves had 861 district votes, 28 absentee votes and one provisional vote for a total of 890 votes. Vickers received 650 district votes, 59 absentee votes and no provisional votes for a total of 709 votes.
After the vote canvassing, the council unanimously passed a resolution to call for a runoff election between Baker and Cooper for the Enterprise mayoral seat. In order to declare an outright winner, one candidate must garner 50 percent of the votes cast, plus one vote. Cooper earned 39 percent of the votes and Baker won 23 percent
In District 1, Sonya Wheeler Rich received 369 votes, comprised of 341 machine-counted votes, 25 absentee votes and three provisional votes. Reiders White Jr. received 75 machine votes, one absentee vote and no provisional votes for a total of 76 votes. Jerrold Whitehurst received 133 total votes with 122 of those being machine-counted and 11 absentee. Whitehurst received no provisional votes.
In District 2, Incumbent Councilman Eugene Goolsby garnered a total of 754 votes to include 705 machine-counted votes, 48 absentee votes and one provisional vote. Challenger LaQuilla Stoudmire had a total of 237 votes to include 227 machine votes and 10 absentee votes.
After the vote canvassing, the council unanimously passed a resolution to issue a certificate of election to Sonya Wheeler Rich to the District 1 council seat and for Eugene Goolsby to the District 2 council seat for a four-year term beginning the first Monday in November and ending the first Monday of November 2024.
There were four candidates vying for the District 3 council seat being vacated by Incumbent Councilman Perry Vickers, who opted instead to run for mayor.
With no provisional ballots cast in the District 3 council race, the council unanimously passed a resolution to call for a runoff election between Les Hogan and Greg Padgett after canvassing the votes cast.
Les Hogan garnered 420 machine votes and 11 absentee votes for a total of 431 votes. Greg Padgett had 322 machine votes and 23 absentee votes for a total of 345 votes.
Danny Bradley earned 156 machine votes and 12 absentee votes for a total of 168 votes. James Brown earned 139 machine votes and 13 absentee votes for a total of 152 votes.
The runoff elections are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
The next meeting of the Enterprise City Council is Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the council chambers at city hall. A work session begins at 5 p.m. A voting meeting begins at 6 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.