Creek County Assessor will now be determined by a runoff election in August
A mere four votes changed the outlook of the Creek County Assessor race.
Creek County Assessor candidate Daniel DeLong returned to the Creek County Election Board on Friday afternoon to formally file a petition to recount the votes, after Tuesday’s results left incumbent JaNell Enlow with a 50.01% lead.
Turns out that no filing would be needed, as the provisional ballots that had been cast on Tuesday lowered Enlow’s percentage to exactly 50% of the vote, giving DeLong the bump needed to make the August runoff.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility. The Help America Vote Act, passed in 2002, guarantees a voter the ability to cast a provisional ballot if they state that he or she is entitled to vote. It then has to be independently verified and is not counted with the regular votes that are cast on election day.
According to records provided by the Creek County Election Board, there were at least six additional votes for Creek Count Assessor that were cast on a provisional basis. One went to Enlow, another to challenger Carl Prescott, and the other four went to Daniel DeLong.
DeLong had prepared a formal petition to request a recount if the provisional votes had not resulted in his favor—and doing so isn’t cheap; a recount requires a fee of $600 for every 3,000 votes counted. At over 10,000 votes total, DeLong would have had to pay $1800 just for the chance to hear that he has another chance in August…or that he doesn’t.
If, during a recount, it is uncovered that there is an error in the petitioner’s favor, then that petitioner would get at least a portion of that money back—maybe all of it.
Creek County Election Board Secretary Joy Naifeh says that although recounts are somewhat common, Creek County hasn’t had a need for a county-wide election recount since the 2012 Sheriff’s race between McReynolds and Toliver (it was Toliver that went on to win it).
DeLong had until 5:00pm on Friday afternoon to file his petition to request a recount, or he would have to concede the election to JaNell Enlow. Although he had showed up to do just that, when he received the news that the provisional ballots had brought a runoff by default, he looked at the numbers and said, “Sounds like we don’t need a recount.”
Any other runoff election notices are scheduled to be posted on Monday. Sapulpa Times will update you with the latest when we get it.
Featured Image: Daniel DeLong tears up his formal petition to request a recount of Tuesday’s election results after discovering that a recount would not be needed.