Padlow Seeks Election Recount

MOUNDSVILLE – Jason “Jake” Padlow is not yet ready to give up on being a Marshall County commissioner, as the Democrat is seeking a recount in the race he lost to Republican challenger Robert Miller Jr. by 70 votes.

Filing for the recount late Friday, Padlow posted a $300 bond for an electronic recount, Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest said.

“If changes are found, the county has to pay for the recount. If the vote total is the same, the candidate will have to pay for it,” she said.

Pest said she could not yet make a final determination of the cost, as it would depend on how much work her office has to do. Pest said she has until Tuesday to notify Miller of Padlow’s recount filing. She said Miller also would need to post a $300 bond for the recount, though he did not ask for one.

A Wednesday vote canvass showed incumbent Democrat Padlow received 6,148 votes, while Miller collected 6,218 to win the seat. Just 70 votes, or 0.56 percent of the total, separated the two in the final results.

That result differs from vote totals announced Nov. 6, which showed Padlow leading by 61 votes – 4,797 to 4,736.

Pest and her staff discovered an error in the unofficial report late last week, when it was determined 2,912 absentee and early votes had been overlooked as election night totals were released. Padlow was notified of the problem last week, eventually learning that updated totals showed him losing to Miller by 80 votes. The canvass reduced this difference to 70 votes.

Pest said the county commission will need to schedule a day and time for the recount. She believes Padlow’s goal is to contest the election, which she said involves court action. A recount must be done before a contest.

For his part, Miller said he has “faith in the system.”

“I am somewhat surprised. Every indication I have gotten is that I have won this race,” Miller said upon learning of Padlow’s challenge. “At first, I thought I lost. Then, I thought I won. I guess we will just have to work through the process to see how it ends up.”

Padlow’s attorney, Dan Guida, confirmed Padlow asked for the recount but he had no more comment.

City Editor Jennifer Compston-Strough contributed to this report.