Clerk: Write-in campaign will delay results - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Clerk: Write-in campaign will delay results

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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The Bonner County Clerk’s Office is advising voters to expect delayed election results because of an active write-in campaign by incumbent county Commissioner Lewis Rich.

Bonner County’s paper ballots are tallied by an optical scanning machine. The ballot-counting machine is programmed to detect write-in selections although it cannot read the name listed by a voter, which means those ballots have to be counted by hand in the Nov. 6 election.

Rich lost the Republican nomination for the District 3 seat on the board to Cary Kelly during last May’s primary by a 359-vote margin. Rich announced in August that he will try to retain his post as a write-in candidate.

Rich ousted former Commissioner Karl Dye by clinching the GOP nod in the 2006 primary. Dye launched a write-in campaign to try and retain office, but the effort was not successful.

Rich finished that contest with 5,970 votes, compared to Dye’s 3,756 votes.

The hand count in Dye’s bona fide write-in campaign delayed the final results until about 1 p.m. the day after the election.

There has never been a successful write-in campaign for county office in Bonner County history, according to the clerk’s office.

Other county races on the ballot include a District 1 race between Republican Joyce Broadsword and Steve Johnson, an independent. Incumbent Sheriff Daryl Wheeler faces challenger Rocky Jordan, a constitutional candidate.

There’s a three-way race for prosecutor between incumbent Republican Louis Marshall, Michael Waldrup and Tevis Hull, both of whom are running as independents.

Voters will also be asked if Barbara Buchanan should be retained as a magistrate court judge.

The clerk’s office put up a web page listing all the races on the ballot, in addition to constitutional amendments, ballot propositions and local option tax proposals (

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  • bonnerben posted at 9:01 pm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    I am well aware of what happened in May. Here's the fact. Lewie CHOSE to run as a Republican, as he has done in previous elections. He lost the Republican vote. There was no Democrat or independent. He got into a three way race with two other Republicans, and lost. Now he wants to run as an independent write in. Had he filed as an independent last spring, he would be on the ballot for this election.

    The system is there for a reason, but Lewie is abusing it. County employees, and the tax payers of Bonner County will pay for Lewie's sour grapes.

    If Lewie recognizes the discourse within the commissioner's office, what has he done about it? He fought mediation efforts until he was shamed into them. Could it be that Lewie is just so stubborn that he refuses to work with people who have a different point of view than him.

    The bottom line to all of this is that Lewie lost an election. You know, that system that is there for a reason.

  • Corey Greve posted at 8:24 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 912

    Bonner Ben, there is one thing you need to remember, regardless of whether you like Lewie or not. He was voted out of the primary, not by a majority of the voters, but by a majority of Republican voters. Big Difference.

  • MichaelN posted at 7:26 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    MichaelN Posts: 502

    I disagree with with the nay-sayers here. First of all, it is legal and a great option for voters when someone runs a write-in campaign. The system is there for a reason. I believe Lewis Rich cares more about Bonner County and it's constituency than two of the other commissioners in office. I think he recognizes discourse within the commissioners office and feels it is his duty to offer the people of Bonner County another choice. Rasor is out and Kelly will replace Rasor in the role of the deciding vote for the heavy handed and bully tactics used by Nielsen. I wish Nielsen's term was up. It has been nothing but dirty politics, not policy, since Nielsen took office.

  • bonnerben posted at 12:57 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    How did we get from Bonner County to Florida? Obviously IdahoGal, you have run out of logical argument, and have reverted to distraction. There is NO correlation between Rich / Kelly and Bush / Gore. Come back to reality. Lewie has filed as a write in because he can not accept the fact that he LOST an election, and is suffering from "sour grapes." He couldn't care less about the health and well being of our county employees, and neither do you. He only cares about himself, his salary, pension, and pride. If you have to hold an elected position to pay your mortgage, you are in the wrong profession. Time for Lewie to take his loss like a man, pull up his big boy pants, take his ball, and go home.

  • Area Man posted at 11:10 am on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    Area Man Posts: 294

    Once again, Mr. Rich tries to derail the county through some petulant ploy. For a job that seems to cost him money and is beyond his ability to manage legally, he seems to want it awfully badly.

  • IdahoGal posted at 2:46 pm on Sun, Sep 30, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    Looking at the other end of this ridiculous spectrum, did you expect George Bush to compensate the workers in Florida who spent weeks and weeks counting chads?

  • bonnerben posted at 11:54 am on Sun, Sep 30, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    Yup, they will be compensated with tax payer money. Money that the county does not have for unnecessary expenses. They know they have to put in extra hours on election nights, but do you really think they will be happy working all night and into the next afternoon? How many of them will fall ill due to these conditions? What will this do to county government operations for the rest of that week? Perhaps Lewie should reimburse the taxpayers for his ill fated attempt at remaining employed at the public trough.

  • IdahoGal posted at 7:29 pm on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    The county election staff will be doing their usual good job. It comes with the territory. I'll bet none of them are complaining. They will be compensated. They know they have to put in these extra hours every two years. And perhaps a lot of them are rooting for Lewie considering what is going on - and may be expected to be going on - in the commissioners office... In fact, I'd bet on it!

  • bonnerben posted at 1:10 pm on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    You hit the nail right on the head when you mentioned the Democrats. Just because it's leagal, doesn't mean it's right. As I said in my previous comment, Lewie might have the right, but he has little to no regard for the employees and tax payers of Bonner County. It's all about him. He had his chance in May, but lost. You think Lewie has the right to keep tossing his hat in the ring, fine. Don't concern yourself with my little, unimportant person, comment. Check with the county staff who will be running themselves ragged on November 6th and 7th. I don't think they will see this as the process it is intended to be.

  • IdahoGal posted at 10:08 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    so, let's see..... it's his right under Idaho law but you single handedly have determined that it is selfish? You must be a very important person. What other laws would you also comment on? One person, one vote? Recall laws? Proof of identification when showing up to vote? Weigh in. Meanwhile, I say Lewie has every right to excercise his right to run as a write-in - just as those registered Democrats ran as "place holders" and have now withdrawn.... the voters will decide and you may get your wish but at least let the process unfold as it is intended to....

  • bonnerben posted at 9:41 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    So, Lewie's failure to accept the will of the voters will cause county employees to work excessive hours, cost the tax payers unnecessary dollars, and hold up the election results for hours. Once again, it's all about ME! Thinking about writing Lewie in, here's how you spell his name: S-E-L-F-I-S-H.