By Dave Russell
The Jackson County Board of Elections completed a recount of ballots Friday at the request of Republican candidate for Jackson County Commission District 4, Mark Letson.
The county’s 21,504 ballots went back through the tabulators and the outcome was the same as the canvass – Letson lost to Democrat Mark Jones by seven votes.
The race for District 4 saw Jones, a former commissioner, finish with 10,374 votes at the close of the polls on Nov. 3. At that point, he had nine more than Letson, a political newcomer and co-owner of Cashiers Valley Pharmacy.
Following the Nov. 13 canvass, Jones had 10,452 votes to 10,445 for Letson, a difference of seven.
In part, the final result came down to 101 provisional ballots that were counted in the canvass. The Board of Elections did not approve 265 provisional ballots.
Absentee, or mail-in, ballots that were postmarked on Election Day or earlier and received between Nov. 3-12 also figured into the canvass numbers.
“There were 76 mail-ins that were counted, and there were two that were postmarked after the date or did not have a date postmarked on them,” Jackson County Board of Elections Director Lisa Lovedahl said.
Jones replaces Republican Mickey Luker, who did not seek a second term. Democrats will now have a 4-1 majority on the board.