Holts Summit aldermen candidate wants special election after tie

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HOLTS SUMMIT — Holts Summit Ward 2 Aldermen Candidate Lisa Buhr started the process Wednesday for a special election to break the tie from the April 2 election.

Buhr is running against Chris Redel. Each got 35 votes in the election.

Brittany Berhorst, the acting city clerk, said neither the city nor the Callaway County Clerk have seen a tie like this since 1992. 

Buhr said she couldn't believe it.

"It is a rarity that something like this would happen," Buhr said. 

She backed out of a coin toss on April 9 that would have decided the election. 

"Our democracy shouldn't be determined by a coin flip," she said. "Our community deserves a democratic resolution to this election."

Redel said he was surprised to hear about the special election. 

"I haven't seen any sufficient reasoning for a special election to be called or needed," he said. 

Redel said filling the vacancy is more important. 

"It would be nice to have the matter resolved for people of the town," he said.

According to KOMU 8 News previous reporting, this election would cost the city between $1,200 and $1,500. The money would come from the city's miscellaneous expenses. 

Buhr said she doesn't want to cost the city any extra money, but this whole process is needed.

"I feel compelled to uphold our voting processes," Buhr said. "It is important that the people in these positions follow the process outlined in Missouri statute and be held accountable to their constituents.”

Buhr said if she wins the seat, she would waive her stipend to help pay for the special election.

In a statement on Buhr's Facebook page, she said she's getting conflicting information. 

"I'm concerned that our election processes were not followed to the letter of the law, and I still have unanswered questions," Buhr said. 

Berhorst said officials would run the special election the same as a normal election, with the difference being only Ward 2 citizens could vote. Both Buhr and Redel say they hope the special election brings more voters to the polls.

The special election would have to happen before June, but as of Wednesday afternoon, there isn't a set day.

Berhorst said the timing will all depend on when the county clerk can get the new ballots ready and voting places lined up. 

Ronda Miller, the county clerk, said she has been in contact with the Holts Summit mayor, who told her the city will have to hold a special meeting on April 25th to decide when the new election would be.