Two votes give Winkles win as Falkville’s mayor
A one-vote lead by Councilman Ken Winkles in Falkville’s mayoral race was increased by two votes and led to his certification as winner when town officials met to canvass the election August 30.
The total vote count, after a single provisional ballot was counted, showed Winkles with 132 votes to 130 votes for Councilman David Carroll.
The closeness of the race and a one-vote difference between the number of voters who registered to vote and the number of votes counted on the voting machine raised the possibility of a call for a recount.
Town Attorney Larry Madison explained that any candidate or any voter may request a vote recount by written notice to the election officer, providing the individual who makes the request assumes the cost of the recount ($200 to $300 estimate).
In a notarized affidavit, Vernon Hall Ayre Jr. stated: “The ballot counting machine indicated one (1) more vote cast than the number of people who voted in the 2016 Falkville Municipal Election. I also certify, because of the machine’s consistent jamming, two (2) ballots were placed in the emergency box and I failed to run those through machine before turning it off and printing the election results; therefore, they will not show as counted through the machine. However, they were counted by hand and tallied with the totals and absentee results. The election counting machine did jam approximately10-15 times.”
Carroll stated before the meeting adjourned he favored a recount and said later request for a recount would be filed by one of his supporters.
“I feel like a recount is needed to clear up any doubt about the outcome,” said Carroll. “If the count stays the same, that’s how it will be.”
Winkles said he felt comfortable about the provisional ballot before it was examined and added to the final vote.
“The lady who cast it told me after the election she voted for me,” he pointed out.
Winkles, 48, is the son of former Falkville Mayor Bob Winkles who served in the late 1980s. He said one of his priorities would be to promote the completion of a 10-step capital improvement plan, which was adopted by the council about two years ago.
Certified as winners of council seats were incumbents Alton Hill and Charlie Gover. Hill defeated Mayor Bob Ramey for Council Place 2 132 votes to 123 votes. Gover won over Justin Powell 152 votes to 107 votes.
Incumbent Councilman Brandon Dillard and former Mayor Jimmie Walker were elected to the council without opposition. The new administration assumes office on the first Tuesday in November.
A pay raise will take effect for the mayor and council members. The mayor’s pay will increase from $500 to $800 per month while the monthly salary for council members will increase from $250 to $400.