Linn County officials will canvass votes on Thursday from Cedar Rapids’ city election to factor into Tuesday’s vote totals any newly arrived absentee ballots and any acceptable provisional ballots cast at the polls.
This will matter to District 4 council winner Scott Olson, who on Tuesday obtained just 12 more votes than needed to get beyond the threshold of 50 percent plus one vote to avoid an election runoff.
Second-place finisher Cloyd “Robby” Robinson, who got 19.66 percent of the vote in the four-candidate District 4 field, said he will be watching to see if there is the slight swing in vote count to force a runoff with Olson. He said he did not expect to seek a recount if Olson prevails after Thursday’s canvass.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller on Wednesday said 21 absentee ballots mailed to District 4 residents had not yet been returned to his office, but he added that none of the 21 may arrive by Thursday’s canvass. A few people in District 4 cast provisional ballots at the polls, some of whom may be in the group of 21 that had absentee ballots mailed to them but did not return them, Miller said.
Miller said local Democrats who track the mailing of absentee ballots have reported that 88 absentee ballots throughout the county may not have reached voters’ homes. Miller said his office took one batch of 88 absentee ballots on Oct. 31 to the local post office, and he said postal authorities have reported that they mailed the ballots. Of the 88, five were mailed to Cedar Rapids District 4 voters and those five are included in the 21 outstanding absentees in District 4.