After all of the absentee and questioned ballots from Tuesday’s special mayoral election were counted Friday, candidate Ken Koelsch still came out ahead.
Koelsch won about 57 percent of the vote — 4,705 of the total 8,186 votes cast — in Tuesday’s election, beating his opponent Karen Crane by 1,331 votes.
The election results are still technically unofficial and will remain so until they are verified Tuesday, City Clerk and Election Official Laurie Sica told the Empire Friday at Assembly Chambers where the remaining ballots were counted.
Koelsh and his wife, Marian, were also at the chambers Friday to watch a handful of volunteers count the 1,520 ballots.
“It’s just humbling,” he said looking at the final vote count after the volunteers finished counting the ballots.
City Manager Kim Kiefer and Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove helped count the final ballots, which included some interesting write-ins such as “Mickey Mouse,” “Mickey Moose,” a couple for current mayor Mary Becker, and “My dog, Chase.”
“At least they voted,” Koelsch said with a chuckle.
The final voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was 33.4 percent (even if some of those votes weren’t for either mayoral candidate).