Lonoke County Election Commission chairman Tim Blair apologized Friday for an election night error that forced a recount of preferential primary votes. Omission of the Magness Creek Township votes put in doubt two races, one for the Republican nomination for assessor and another for circuit clerk.

After more than three hours, Blair announced the results — leaving the outcome the same but with different totals, and some candidates wondering how they lost votes.

Blair said the county’s voters and candidates deserve to expect better. However, the fact that the error was caught shows that the process works, he said.

Commissioner Jimmy Taylor’s call for appreciation of the commission after the detailed recount brought a smattering of applause.

Omission of the Magness Creek voting meant a possible error of about 200 votes – the actual count was 183.

Election night results were delayed, with absentee and early voting numbers not released until about 10 p.m., and vote totals announced at 12:15 a.m.

Blair did not comment on the turnout, but he did attribute the four-hour wait for election results to "inexperience."

Problems in operating the digital ballot snowballed into an extended wait to correctly display results, Blair said. Also, some of the races were so close that hand counting of provisional ballots was required, which delayed the totals.

"We wanted to be sure that what we had was right," he said.

In the assessor’s race, Tuesday’s count left a four-vote margin between current assessor Jack McNally with 2,071 and challenger Jim Bailey with 2,067.

The circuit clerk race between current clerk Denise Brown and former clerk Deborah Oglesby could have changed, but with a 119-vote margin it did not appear likely.

"I am not happy with this," Brown said while awaiting the recount results. "Don’t get me wrong, I would like to win, but it does not look like that will happen. What I really do not like is having to lose in public twice."

On Friday, Blair said confusion developed when poll workers at Magness Creek had trouble closing their machines and the memory modules were brought back to the courthouse.

Bailey said Tuesday night he was considering asking for a recount. However, Blair’s announcement on Thursday ended that need.

The results of both the primary and recount, with the Tuesday results first. Under votes denote ballots cast that did register votes in a particular race:


United States President

Newt Gingrich: 148/247

Rick Santorum: 632/636

Mitt Romney: 2,735/2,758

Ron Paul: 574/569

Under votes: 111

Lonoke County Tax Assessor

Jim Bailey: 2,067/2,065

Jack McNally, Assessor: 2,071/2,094

Under votes: 162

Lonoke County Clerk

Larry Clarke: 2,535/2,527

Lisa Goodman (Tustison): 1,481/1,502

Under votes: 292

Lonoke County Circuit Clerk

Deborah Oglesby: 2,143/2,144

Denise Brown, Circuit Clerk: 2,024/2,040

Under votes: 136

Lonoke County Sheriff

James Kulesa: 584/582

John Staley: 1,360/1,382

Steve Finch: 1,003/975

Jason Wilkinson: 1,216/1,241

Under votes: 141

Justice of the Peace, District 1

Brent Canon: 125/184

Toby Troutman: 66/126

Under votes: 19

Justice of the Peace, District 2

Barry "BJ" Weathers: 205/206

Larry Ridgeway; 143/143

Under votes: 7

Justice of the Peace, District 3

Joshua McCann: 158/151

JP Dr. Henry Lang: 171/166

Under votes: 16

Justice of the Peace, District 4

Darrin Waymack: 143/229

E.L. ‘Ernie’ Ernst: 142/136

Under votes: 11

Justice of the Peace, District 8

Charles D. Evans: 182/182

Tate House: 182/177

Under votes: 10

Justice of the Peace, District 13

Larry Odom: 207/200

Tim Yarboro: 156/152

Under Votes: 12

Unopposed Republican Candidates: 3,326 votes

Under votes: 994


United States President

John Wolfe: 890/914

Barack Obama: 1,022/1,024

Under Votes: 98

U.S. Congress, 1st District

Gary Latanich: 148/155

Scott Ellington: 837/852

Clark M. Hall: 879/886

Under votes: 143

Lonoke County Sheriff

Dean White: 997/1,017

Steve Rich: 918/922

Lonoke City Alderman, Position 3

Bob Butler: 20

Pat Howell: 25

Lonoke City Alderman, Position 5

Efrem Z. Jones: 30

Lloyd Whitaker: 27

Under votes: 3

Unopposed Democrat candidates: 1,525/1,541

Under votes: 495


State Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Position 4

Raymond Abramson: 2,043/2,048

Jo Hart: 3,860/4,907

Under votes: 431

Court of Appeals, Associate Judge

Phillip Whiteaker: 4,362/4,363

Jeannette Robertson: 1,061/1,095

Richard Lusby: 585/595

Under votes: 335

Unopposed nonpartisan judicial: 5,310/5,345

Under votes: 1,040