Recount

Perry County Board of Election members Steven Baker and Patrick Hannum conduct a recount Monday of six precincts requested by Todd Shafer, left, the Democratic challenger for county commissioner who lost the race to incumbent Dave Freriks by a 5,429-3,580 vote margin. The hand count of ballots cast during the Nov. 4 election was conducted Monday. Shafer was in attendance during the recount, Freriks was notified but did not attend the recount.

There seemed to be no doubting the outcome of the race for county commissioner. Incumbent Dave Freriks was reelected by nearly 2,000 votes.

Challenger Todd Shafer, who spent months campaigning plus thousands of his own dollars trying to gain a position he has tried a total of three times to attain, wants to know where this campaign went wrong and requested a recount.

Freriks was officially reelected to office by a 5,429-3,580 vote margin after the Nov. 4 election. Shafer made an official request to the Board of Elections for a recount Nov. 24 that count was held Monday and was conducted by members of the board plus the director and deputy director.

Shafer requested a recount in six of the 33 county voting districts, asking the board to take a look at precincts in Madison and Reading South Townships plus Somerset, Thornville, New Straitsville and Roseville.

“There’s always doubt and I just wanted to cover my bases and take advantage of every opportunity to check things out,” Shafer said. “That wide of a spread of a loss after working so hard, we are just trying to figure out what went wrong.”

Shafer attended the official recount Monday morning, board members began with the 300 ballots cast in Madison Township, adding the printouts from the county’s voter machines and comparing those numbers with the count from election night. The board moved on to Roseville and finding no extra ballots from either precinct Shafer decided to end the recount bid. “I love politics, it’s an expensive game but you win or lose and I have to do a better job convincing people,” said Shafer, who also expressed interest in running for commissioner in the future.

Shafer absorbed a $55 cost for each precinct recount, The likelihood of the recount changing the outcome of the election was slim. An election worker said that there have been no discrepancies in the county’s voting machines during their nine years of use, Freriks won the election by an official margin of 1,849 votes while the total number of votes cast in the six chosen recount precincts was 1,679.

“Politics are politics; whether he felt the spread was so big there was a problem,” Freriks said. “But the election process worked. I think he was looking for answers and he got them.”

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