In a surprising turn of events, the recount process for the Missoula City Council Ward 6 race revealed a tied vote between candidates Sandra Vasecka and Sean Patrick McCoy. The news release states that according to Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 13-16-507, when a tied vote occurs in a municipal election, the responsibility of appointing the candidate to fill the vacancy falls on the governing body, in this case, the Missoula City Council.
The recount, which took place on Wednesday, unveiled an equal vote tally of 1,476 for both candidates. Prior to the recount, McCoy had received 1,478 votes, while Vasecka had garnered 1,473 votes. The final determination rests with the recount board, who will assess factors such as how the ovals were marked on the paper ballots to ensure accuracy and consistency with the results in the system.
Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradly Seaman expressed the significance of the recount process, emphasizing its pivotal role in verifying the integrity of close races. He explained that tie votes have occurred across the state in previous elections. Consequently, the City Council will adhere to the state law outlined in the Montana Code Annotated and make an appointment from one of the candidates rather than opting for a second election.
While some may question why the decision lies with the City Council, Seaman clarified that this process was established by state law, stressing that it is not within the jurisdiction of local officials to make that determination.
This unexpected tie vote serves as a testament to the importance of every single vote cast and underscores the significance of electoral integrity. The City Council’s impending appointment will shape the future of Ward 6, and the tied result will undoubtedly be a catalyst for further discussions surrounding electoral procedures in Missoula.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will happen next in the Missoula City Council Ward 6 race?
According to Montana Code Annotated 13-16-507, the Missoula City Council will appoint one of the candidates to fill the vacancy resulting from the tied vote.
Why does the City Council have the authority to make the appointment?
The authority of the City Council to make the appointment is determined by state law. The Montana Code Annotated outlines the process for handling tied votes in municipal elections.
Could this tied vote have been avoided?
Tied votes can occur in any election, and it is difficult to predict such outcomes. The recount process serves as a crucial step to verify the accuracy of the results and ensure the fairness of the electoral process.