Technical error delays election results
By Scott Loftis
Carroll County residents will have to wait until at least Wednesday to hear final results from Tuesday’s general election.
A technical issue prevented election officials from counting most of the county’s 1,941 absentee ballots on Tuesday, and no absentee votes were included in the numbers released just before 10 p.m. at the Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville.
Several local races were too close to call without the absentee vote totals — most notably the question of whether Holiday Island will incorporate. The numbers released Tuesday night, which included early voting and election day voting, showed 579 votes in favor of incorporation and 566 votes against.
Two of the three contested Eureka Springs City Council races were also very close. Challenger LauraJo Smole led incumbent Susan Harman 434-402 in their race for the Ward 1, Position 2 seat, while challenger Bill Ott led incumbent Bob Thomas 440-416 for the Ward 2, Position 2 seat. Incumbent Melissa Greene led challenger Michael Seals 576-281 for the Ward 2, Position 1 seat.
Voters overwhelmingly favored keeping the Eureka Springs Historic District Commission, with 648 votes against a proposal to abolish the commission and 247 in favor of the proposal.
A proposal that would establish a permanent entertainment district in Eureka Springs received 426 votes, with 460 votes against the proposal.
District 3 Justice of the Peace Harrie Farrow held a comfortable lead over challenger Ferguson Stewart. Farrow had 628 votes, compared with 367 for Stewart.
District 97 State Rep. Harlan Breaux led challenger Suzie Bell by a wide margin in Carroll County. Breaux had 3,526 votes, compared with 2,574 for Bell. In addition to a large portion of Carroll County, District 97 also includes parts of Madison and Washington counties.
The ballot included a slate of candidates for municipal offices if incorporation is approved in Holiday Island. In the mayor’s race, Daniel Kees led Russell Baxter 615-420.