Hundreds of ballots still coming in as state house race tightens

By Adam Strunk

The House District 72 race could be getting even closer.

On Wednesday, the county received 200 mail in ballots for the state house race between Steve Kelly and Tim Hodge.

Kelly is holding on to an 84 vote lead over Hodge after a morning the addition of hand count ballot totals cut the lead from 130 votes. In total more than 8,300 voters were cast in the race.

More than 1,000 mail-in ballots the county sent out to voters remain unaccounted for and the county will continue accepting ballots that come in the mail until Friday, as long as the ballots have a post mark proving they were sent before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

When all the ballots come in on Friday, County Clerk Rick Piepho said he will count them and announce the vote totals.

The Tim Hodge Campaign signed up more large amounts of voters for mail-in ballots leading up to the election.

To add on to the mail in ballots, there still remain two hundred and eighty provisional ballots in the race, to be approved by the Harvey County Board of Canvassers and counted at their official canvassing meeting set for 8 a.m. Tuesday. In the 2016 election the board of canvassers accepted 65 percent of the submitted provisional ballots as valid.

Ballots can be ruled provisional for reasons such as a person voting in person after signing up for advanced voting or for voting in the wrong location.

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