Illegal Ballots Delay Swearing In of Mayor and Council Member
Mayor Robert L. Willrich, Sr. and Council member William Langehennig, who were scheduled to be sworn in last Friday afternoon during a specially called Council Meeting, were not sworn in due to a question that arose during the canvassing of the votes.
During the canvassing, Council members Tim Brown and Tony Tavary discovered three ballots that were placed illegally during the May 8 City elections. The three voters, whom the council members identified, did not live in the City.
While those three ballots would not make any difference in the results of the Mayoral race or in the results that secured imcumbent Langehennig’s seat, they would have made a difference in the run-off election. (Both Mayor Willrich and Council Member Langehennig won their seats with more than 25 votes.)
Candidates in the run-off election for City Council were both present at the meeting. They are incumbent Lori Barnikow and challenger Sam Scoggins, each of whom received 97 votes.
Due to the discrepancy, a motion was made and seconded to not certify the votes without checking with the State Attorney General Office.
On Monday of this week, City Secretary Pam Cox spoke with the Attorney General’s Office and learned that the job of the council members who canvassed the votes last Friday was to verify the number of votes only, not the legality of whether or not the ballots were placed by voters who are residents of the City of Lexington. She was told that the City was to install Mayor Willrich and Council Member Langehennig and name a date for the run off election.
The voters’ roster is compiled by the County, which depends on individuals to inform the County when they move out of the City or County. The three names of the individuals who do not live in the City Limits anymore will be struck from the voters’ roster.
Two other Special Meetings of the Council have been called for Wednesday, May 19, at 5 p.m. at the Woodson Building to install the officers and for Thursday, May 20, to set the run off election date.