Election, take two - Special vote needed for 2 ward seats in Parkville

Parkville voters are awaiting the word of the court on when they can return to the polls to determine the final outcome of the races for ward one and ward three aldermen.

On Monday, April 8, the Platte County Board of Elections filed a petition for the Platte County Circuit Court to authorize a new special election to re-run the elections for these two wards.

“Now we just have to wait,” said Wendy Flanigan, one of two directors of the Platte County Board of Elections.

The Board of Elections became aware of possible problems in the Parkville election on Tuesday, April 2 when voters noticed their ballots were incorrect. At the end of the night Tuesday, incumbent Phil Wassmer and Weston Coble tied for the ward one seat with each receiving 187 votes. Ward three had three candidates, with incumbent Doug Wylie edging out his challengers. In that race, Wylie earned 215 votes, beating Scott Herbig’s 211 votes. Scott Curran received only 22 votes.

By mid-week, the board was investigating the error and notified the City of Parkville, which released a statement supporting the Board of Elections’ decision. The Board of Elections met Friday and voted to send the matter to the courts.

Some voters residing in newer residences on Limestone Court were provided with incorrect ballots. Voters residing in these homes were listed in county records as ward one residents instead of ward three. Before the error was discovered, thirteen voters in ward three cast a ward one ballot. These 13 votes incorrectly affected the results in ward one, and the true intentions of the voters were not registered in ward three.

Because the results of both races were by a margin of less than 13 votes, it was not possible for the board of elections to declare a winner in either ward.

“The city will await the decision of the court and if approved, will work with the Platte County Board of Elections to declare a date when the special election will occur,” states a press release issued by the City of Parkville.

The city stated in the release it is not involved with administering elections, a clarification sparked by criticism of the situation.

“While it is inconvenient to the voters and candidates to participate in another election, it is important that the will of the people be determined in electing their representatives to the Parkville city government,” states the release. “There is no other way to achieve this without having a complete new election for the ward one and ward three aldermen positions.”

The special election could cost about $6,000 — footed by the taxpayers — to run.