The recount is now complete and the historical race for the office of mayor of Jasper for now has been decided.
Due to what was ruled as a clerical error on one questionable ballot incumbent Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz has been ruled the winner of the November 3rd Jasper Mayoral election and will serve four more years as the city’s leader.
Earlier today attorneys representing Seitz and democratic challenger Wayne Schuetter pleaded their cases in regards to four questionable votes discovered during Monday’s vote re-count that took place in the Pfaffenweiler Room at Jasper City Hall and should those votes be included in the race total.
Those arguments were heard by the election recount commission that consisted of Republican representative Merrill Osterman, Art Nordhoff the Democratic representative and Jefferson County Clerk Karen Mannix who served as the mechanic.
During the hearing in the Dubois County courthouse’s Superior court room, a vote previously counted in favor of Schuetter from Bainbridge 6 South was thrown out during today’s hearing.
Schuetter’s attorney David Groth says the commission determined that the ballot which was absentee was excluded because it was not properly initialed during the November election by both watchers.
In the election process under Indiana law the watchers are required to both initial the ballot in order to certify that the person making the selection was the voter themselves. Today the recount commission ruled that was not the case.
As a result the commission ruled for that reason and Seitz will continue to serve as the mayor of Jasper by a total of 1,856 to 1,855 votes.
Seitz’s attorney David Brooks concurred that by Indiana statute the vote in question needed to be disallowed.
Seitz who was first elected as Jasper’s mayor in 2012 was not present during today’s proceedings. However the mayor issued a statement to the media shortly after the ruling was announced.
Seitz says he was thoroughly honored and delighted to be re-elected Mayor and noted respect for Special Judge Dean Sobecki, and all members of the recount commission for the job they performed in accordance to Indiana law.
Seitz extends his best to Schuetter and said he expects him to continue to serve as his appointee to the Jasper Utility Service Board.
Schuetter left the courtroom after the ruling was announced. Although Indiana State law required the the recount must be concluded by this Sunday December 20th, an announcement may be made early next week of whether or not he will appeal today’s ruling.