Cape Girardeau judge to oversee Mississippi County vote recount

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A Cape Girardeau judge will preside over the recount of ballots in the Mississippi County presiding commissioner election.

According to Mississippi County Clerk Junior DeLay, the Missouri Supreme Court appointed Judge Gary Kamp of the 32nd Judicial Circuit to hear the recount petition. The 32nd Judicial Circuit includes Cape Girardeau, Bollinger and Perry counties.

Democrat Jack Feezor filed a petition with the 33rd Circuit Court on Nov. 29 requesting a hand recount of the presiding commissioner race.

A candidate can request a recount if they are within 1 percent of his opponent, according to state statutes. Republican Carlin Bennett defeated Feezor by seven votes. Bennett received 47.69 percent of the votes cast and Feezor received 47.49 percent.

According to Missouri law, once a petition is filed with the circuit court, the contestee, which is Bennett in this case, has 15 days to file a reply to the petition with the court. If a reply is filed, then the judge hearing the case will consider the petitions and issue an order to proceed with the recount and the manner in which it is to be done.

If Kamp orders a recount, election officials will have 20 days to complete the recount.

The appointment of a judge to hear the petition was made as Circuit Judge David A. Dolan of the 33rd Circuit recused himself.

In a recent news release, DeLay emphasized that all election materials were sealed and placed in a secure location since the certification of the election and have been undisturbed.

He stated it is his office's practice to secure the election materials for the 30-day period following certification of an election when the possibility of a recount exists; otherwise, the election materials would have been processed for archival storage.

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