Officials seek new state House election in SE Mo.

Friday, November 16, 2012

KENNETT, Mo. -- Officials in southeastern Missouri are seeking a new election for a state House seat because some voters apparently received the wrong ballots.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat reported Thursday that unofficial results from the Nov. 6 election showed Republican incumbent Kent Hampton defeating Democrat Tom Todd by 116 votes in the 150th House District.

But Dunklin County officials say it appears that some voters who live in the neighboring 152nd District were given ballots for the 150th District -- and vice versa. The apparent mix-ups are being blamed on redistricting after the 2010 census.

Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen P. Sokoloff on Wednesday filed a petition in circuit court seeking the new election. The petition says there were enough questionable votes to throw the results of the election in doubt.

"Because of changes in the district boundaries, there were many voters in the county whose district changed," Sokoloff wrote. "They all continued to vote at the same precincts as they had previously, however. It appears that the registration books may have incorrectly identified which district they lived in, resulting in incorrect ballots being distributed."

County Clerk Carol Hinesly said results will remain uncertified until a decision is made on how to proceed.

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