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Commission recounts absentee ballots in St. Joseph Co. sheriff race

Commission recounts absentee ballots in St. Joseph Co. sheriff race. // WSBT 22 photo

Slight changes, but could they make a difference?

That's what a recount commission is trying to determine.

They're recounting the St. Joseph County Democratic primary sheriff's race.

On Election Day, County Police Lieutenant Bill Redman won the nomination over County Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett by just 16 votes.

Monday the commission recounted absentee ballots.

They're about halfway through the 5,300 votes, but Redman is still in the lead by 15 votes.

One by one, by hand the recount commission is counting every democratic absentee vote.

A tiring process.

With a margin so slim, Corbett and his attorney think it's worth it.

The two candidates agreed to start with absentee ballots.

"The parties felt that that would provide a representative sample of the voters throughout the county," said Jim Korpal, chairman of recount commission.

There has been some discussion over what should and shouldn't count.

A lot of it has to do with determining the intent of the voters.

"On one ballot the Redman bubble was completely filled in and also there was just a tiny mark for Corbett and we found that the intent of the voter and that one was for Redman since he had been completely filled in," said Pat Schafer, recount commission.

"We try to decide that's what the voter meant to do and what their decision would be," said Korpal.

The changes are slight.

127 precincts counted and Redman is still leading though narrowly by 15 votes. But it's important.

"We always want every vote to count for everybody. When they take the time to go to the polls to vote, we want to make sure that their vote count," said Schafer.

They only got through 127 out of 220 precincts Monday. They'll start counting the remaining Tuesday morning.

Then it's up to Corbett and his attorney to determine if they want to recount the entirety of the votes.

WSBT 22 will be in the recount Tuesday morning and will have full updates.

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