After provisional ballots had been counted in District 27’s State Senate race, Auburn City Council member Jay Hovey took the lead by a single vote.
However, the race was declared a tie after a single voter whose allegedly wrongfully counted provisional ballot was counted in favor of incumbent Thomas Whatley.
Hovey and Whatley, both running for the Republican nomination for District 27’s seat, had fought vigorously after a tight race.
It was announced that the contested race was to be decided by a coin toss after the Alabama GOP voted to accept the controversial ballot due to the fact that it was “improperly excluded from the vote totals,” a statement from the party said.
On Wednesday morning, Whatley’s campaign claimed that the coin toss would be held that day. But Hovey’s campaign said that this was not a mutually agreed upon date, claiming that both parties were initially unavailable until after July 4, as discussed privately by the two parties.
Hovey’s campaign requested that the Alabama GOP reconsider the challenge to the original count that excluded the tying vote, which the party accepted.
Hovey’s request came as a result of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s inability to find the tying voter’s name in their voter rolls, leading Hovey to suspect that the vote was illegitimate.
The race took yet another, but final, turn on Friday after Whatley withdrew from the race, leaving Hovey victorious.
Whatley’s decision came just before the rehearing requested by Hovey took place. The rehearing did conclude that Hovey would have won based on the findings of the ALEA regarding the registration status of the voter whose vote initially brought the race to a tie.
Hovey is set to run against Democrat Sherri Reese in the general election in November.
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Tucker Massey, junior in journalism, is the content editor for The Auburn Plainsman.