PRESTONSBURG — Sam Howell remains the qualified winner of the Martin mayor’s race, following a recount of the election’s tallies Tuesday in the Floyd Circuit Court.
Both Howell and former Mayor Thomasine Robinson were in court Tuesday with their attorneys, as a recount of the November election proceeded. A recanvass of the votes was performed one week after the election, at which time Robinson picked up two more absentee votes that had gone uncounted.
On Tuesday, the voting machines for the two precincts were brought into court, and their respective tallies run again. Both John Possum and Martin city precinct voting machines printed the same results as on Election Day.
Copies of the absentee ballots were presented to the court by representatives with the state Attorney General’s Office because the originals are currently being reviewed as part of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The final results of the election following both the recanvass and the recount is now 161 votes for Sam Howell, and 158 votes for Thomasine Robinson.
From here, the issue of the election becomes a strictly legal affair, as Robinson has filed a lawsuit claiming that there were several irregularities in regard to the race, including improper assistance, voter intimidation and a failure on the part of election officials to respond to voter challenges. Robinson claims that at least 19 people who were not residents of the city voted in the race.
A court date is set for Jan. 15 in Perry county to hear motions in the ongoing legal dispute.