2018-09-13 / News

Wakeman wins 94th District Republican recount by 30 votes

By Jeanne Marcello

SAGINAW COUNTY – On Wednesday, Sept. 5, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers oversaw the ballot recount of Saginaw County’s Aug. 7 primary election. Out of the 12,798 votes counted during election night, the top two Republican candidates for 94th District State Representative, Steven Gerhardt and Rodney Wakemen, were just 40 votes apart. At the end of the recount, Wakeman was confirmed the winner by 30 votes.

The recount took place at the Freeland Sports Zone. Saginaw County Clerk Michael Hanley said the recount was performed under the supervision of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers. There were 12 teams of two election workers performing the recount; at least one in each pair was either a clerk or a deputy clerk. They hand-counted ballots, a process which took a little over eight hours, Hanley said.

The recount resulted in Wakeman gaining 12 votes, increasing his total from 5,760 to 5,772 votes. Gerhardt gained 22 votes, increasing his vote total from 5,720 to 5,742 votes. Reibschleger gained four votes, increasing his total from 1,318 to 1,322 votes.

These additional votes were not enough to change the outcome of the election, Hanley said.

One of the greatest challenges was the fact that eight precincts were certified un-recountable. As a result, only 57 of the county’s 65 precincts were recounted. Those certified un-recountable included several Saginaw Township precincts, one Thomas Township precinct and one Birch Run Township precinct.

Hanley said, “Gerhardt did challenge the un-recountable precincts and was denied by a 2-2 tie vote of the Saginaw County Board of Canvassers, the (Michigan) Bureau of Elections State Board of Canvassers person in Saginaw that day and then by the (Michigan) State Board of Canvassers at their meeting in Lansing on the seventh (of September), as per state law.”

“Some of the ballots did not register because they were recorded in pencil,” he said. The instructions specified that markers be used on the ballots. But some precincts used pencils.

Hanley said, “I believe they should change the law so that those ballots could be counted. I’d like to see them change the law so those eight precincts could be recounted. But I don’t think it would have changed the outcome, looking at the trend.”

Hanley said the state board of canvassers was very impressed by the counters in Saginaw County; they did the work in a very timely fashion. The recount was expected to take up to two days; they finished in just over eight hours.

Wakeman was confirmed the winner of the Republican nomination. He will face Democrat Dave Adams in the November General Election.

Return to top

Copyright 2012-2018 Township View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2018-09-13 digital edition