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GOP Candidate's Loss by 1 Vote Prompts Calls for Whole New Election After Issue of Shady Count Raised

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A tight Louisiana election has now become an even more complex issue now that two people have been found to have voted twice in an election decided by one vote.

A runoff election for Caddo Parish sheriff was held on Saturday. After the polls closed, Republican John Nickerson was defeated by Democrat Henry Whitehorn by one vote out of about 43,000 votes cast, according to the Associated Press.

That led Nickerson to call for a recount.

Then came a complication as reported by the Shreveport-Bossier Advocate.

Caddo Parish Clerk of Court Mike Spence said two people voted twice in the sheriff’s race.

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Spence said the two voters had their absentee ballots delivered Friday, but that both voters showed up in person on Saturday to cast ballots.

In spite of the absentee ballots being delivered, both voters were will on the voting rolls, he said.

“It’s a sad situation because it’s two people who didn’t understand what they were doing. This wasn’t malicious,” Spence said.

Spence said he spoke to one voter before saying there was no intent to game the system. He said the age of the other voter who cast two ballots was in the late 80s or early 90s.

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Even before the recount, which takes place Monday, Nickelson issued a call for a new election, and urged Whitehorn to join him, according to the Shreveport-Bossier Advocate.

“No matter what happens in any court battle following Monday’s machine recount of more than 7,700 absentee ballots many voters in our community would feel deeply disenfranchised and will question the legitimacy of this election,” Nickelson said in a letter to Whitehorn.

“Under these unique circumstances, any certification of the current result can not withstand judicial — or public — scrutiny. For that reason, I invite you to join me in asking the district court to order a special second runoff election,” he wrote.

As part of its recount, Caddo County checked voting machines but found the totals reported the first time were accurate, according to KTBS-TV.

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In its report, AP noted that Louisiana uses voting machines that do not have a paper trail. That means that other than checking the totals, there is no more information that can be gathered from the voting machines.

Monday’s recount will only sift through absentee ballots, which AP said were about 17 percent of the total votes cast.

Louisiana uses paperless touchscreen voting machines that were purchased in 2005. Louisiana is the only state where such machines are used statewide.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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