Chipley- Its been a long three days for two Washington County school board candidates.They've waited since Tuesday to find out who won the District 3 seat. Friday, officials announced Milton Brown was the winner.
To say the week was emotional for Brown would be an understatement. "The entire campaign has been like a roller coaster. I guess the last few days have been the really high ups and the really high downs, the drops" Brown told us.
Tuesday's election showed Brown had lost to his opponent, Pam Cates by a mere seven votes. That triggered an automatic recount on Thursday.
"The machines counted the votes differently today, and now as a result, there is an eight vote margin between the candidates. It actually swung the election to the other candidate" Canvassing Board Chairman, Colby Peel told us Thursday.
Since taking a third recount was legally not an option, elections officials sought the guidance of the Division of Elections in Tallahassee. The canvassing board retested the accuracy of the machines with test ballots in an attempt to explain the discrepancy. Every machine passed 100%
"Absentee is where the difference was and we did test that machine today. But, it is possible that a crease was put into that candidate area. A heavily creased ballot could, I suppose, cause a vote to appear for a candidate" said Carol Griffin, the Washington County Supervisor of Elections.
After a machine recount, manual recount, and accuracy tests, Brown became the District 3 Representative for the Washington County School Board. "I'm happy, but my heart goes out to my opponent" Brown told us.
He said now that it's been determined he's the winner, Brown said he's ready to get to work. "I really am looking forward to getting into office and working hard for the Washington County school system and the kids I love so dearly."
But Brown will have to wait until November 20th when he's sworn into office.