LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The results of the fourth district seat on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council are hanging in the balance after a ballot mix-up prevented some people from voting in the race while allowing others to vote in it that should not have.
On Tuesday Brenda Monarrez was reported as the frontrunner with 39% of the vote or 1,121 votes. J. “Brack” Marquette came in second with 31% of the vote or 908 votes and Barry Saturday finished in third with 30% of the vote or 865 votes.
“The election officers were trained not to do this. There’s a lot of activity going on at the start of the day, there’s nerves, it’s not uncommon for them to make mistakes you just hope it doesn’t affect the outcome of the election,” said Don Blevins, Fayette County Clerk.
Officials say two bags of paper ballots at two precincts were mixed. The issue was discovered a few hours later after 71 people already voted. The second and third place candidates in the race are only separated by less than 50 votes. Both are now unsure who is the rightful candidate to continue on to the November election.
“I just think that the best interest of all the voters will be served and need to be served and I hope to be in the same place that I was before all of this came up and even as runner up I’m glad to be available for the November election and planning accordingly,” said Brack Marquette, 2nd place candidate.
Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said because the mix-up potentially affects the outcome of the race, he’s taking the matter to court to be settled.
“The problem was we couldn’t allow them to vote again because it would be voting twice and that’s against the law. Really when a mistake like this occurs there’s not much anyone can do other than re-host the election and I can’t say that that’s off the table. That’s one of the options a judge could do is to just allow all three candidates to go to the fall,” said Blevins.
Blevins goes on to encourage people to continue voting to make their voices heard. He said he plans to file in court this week but that the court process may take a month or longer to work itself out. FOX 56 reached out to the two other candidates in the race but has not yet heard back.