Berbee retains council seat as vote totals hold on recount


With the votes counted and recounted, incumbents J.R. Rausch, Mark Reams and Henk Berbee have officially been reelected to Marysville City Council.
Results from Monday’s mandatory recount confirmed the earlier results and vote totals for the council election.
“Nothing changed,” said Tina LaRoche, director of the Union County Board of Elections. “None of the numbers changed.”
Rausch and Reams won reelection to seats on the council with 1,893 and 1,720 votes respectively. Berbee officially finished with 1,674 votes and Donald Boerger with 1,664 votes. Jermaine Ferguson tallied 682 votes.
The vote totals represent the exact numbers generated by electronic voting machines.
“It shows that our system works,” LaRoche said.
After the recount, an “elated” Berbee told the Journal-Tribune that he enjoys being a councilperson, especially right now. He said with the growth Marysville is seeing, being part of what’s happening is exciting.
“We’re in a very good place at the moment, and it’s fun to be a part of that,” he said.
Berbee complemented both Boerger and the process. Berbee said that while people don’t often think about what happens to their vote once it’s cast, knowing that the recount yielded the same result should put people at ease.
He said it “puts a lot of faith in the (process).”
“The board of elections does not take this thing very lightly,” he said.
He said Boerger was “gracious” during the campaign, and that it’s good for any city to have a contested race.
“It makes everybody work harder,” he said.
Boerger told the Journal-Tribune that despite the outcome, this year’s election has, if anything, made him more excited. He said his campaign gave him a chance to meet new people, make new friends and get the word out on topics he cares about.
“To me, it’s a success,” he said.
Additionally, he said the close race might show residents that a younger person can find success running against incumbents.
“There’s an establishment here,” he said. “Hopefully this inspires people to run.”
Berbee said what happened over the past couple weeks was simply the democratic process working as intended.
“Today was actually a learning day for me,” Berbee said at Monday night’s city council meeting.
In an interview this morning, he stressed yesterday’s educational value of the recount. He said he learned how recounts work over the course of several nervous visits to the county’s board of elections.
On election night, it appeared as though Rausch, Reams and Berbee were the top three vote earners. In the contest, the three highest vote earners would have seats on the council.
The gap between Berbee and Boerger was 18 votes. After provisional and mail-in ballots were counted, Berbee’s advantage had shrunk to 10 votes.
Election directives indicate a recount is to be conducted if the results are within half of 1 percent, based on the total number of ballots cast. Local elections officials said that in this election, the vote difference, had to be 20 or less to trigger a recount.
The board randomly selected polling locations in the race. The board hand counted about 5 percent of the entire vote.
LaRoche said the board of elections is now “tying up loose ends” and “finalizing the paperwork for the election.”
She said election officials are, “already getting ready for the next election.”

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