It was a week after the election before the Cache County Council had a winner in the District 3 race.
Cache County Clerk Seth Allen said not only was Democrat Chris Coray's win over Republican Beth Hendricks the closest county race he's seen in his 18 years in office, but "this election was also plagued with more problems than any other."At about noon on Nov. 6, Allen learned that voting District 23 had received the wrong ballots, meaning 46 voters had cast their ballots before it was discovered that they did not contain the Coray-Hendricks race.
Moreover, 96 individuals in voting District 15 had cast ballots on which the two candidates' names mistakenly appeared.
Allen said he was unsure how the mix-up occurred, but that voting from both districts took place at the same location.
At the end of the counting on election night, it was announced that Coray led Hendricks by 20 votes. However, Allen said Coray's lead was increased to 26 votes after it was determined that "we could not assume that each person who voted a straight party line would have also done so in the council race had the names of Hendricks and Coray been on the ballots."
Although Hendricks acquired eight additional votes Tuesday when absentee ballots were counted, Coray still was left with the 18-vote margin of victory.
After council members reviewed the election results Tuesday, they declared Coray the winner and voted to take no action on the 46 disputed ballots, leaving that up to the candidates.
Hendricks said she would not contest the final vote.
"I figured mathematically that my chances were not good and I hated to put the taxpayers to the expense," she said.
Had she contested the vote, Allen said, 1st District Judge Gordon Low would have decided whether to order a new vote in the council race.
"This race this year should show every resident of Cache County how important one vote can be," Coray said.