Nineteen additional absentee ballots were counted Wednesday and Alderman Mike Matson and Alderwoman Rita Rawson remain the top two vote-getters who will be on the Davenport mayoral ballot in November.
Unofficial results Tuesday night showed Rawson took second place by eight votes. Absentee ballots cast by mail were counted after they arrived in the auditor’s office Wednesday.
The new ballots were a wash in the contest between Rawson and third-place candidate Dan Portes, keeping Rawson ahead by eight votes. Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz said she expects five or fewer absentee ballots to come by mail on Thursday based on an electronic tracking system used by the U.S. Postal Service, so the results are unlikely to change. Those ballots will be counted at noon tomorrow before the official canvas and certification at 3 p.m. Thursday, Moritz said.
Reached by phone Wednesday morning before those figures were tallied, Portes said he was considering calling for a recount but wanted to see the final result including all absentee votes before deciding. He did not immediately reply to a follow-up message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Matson was the clear winner Tuesday with 33% of the vote. In a statement, he thanked Davenport residents for supporting him, saying he wants the city to be a safe, stable and welcoming place under his leadership.
“I will listen to you,” Matson added. “I want to be a voice for all.”
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Under Iowa law, a candidate may call for a recount at no personal expense if the margin of victory is within a differential of 1% or 50 votes, whichever is greater. Candidates involved each pick a volunteer representative to do the recount and agree on a third party. If no third person is agreed upon, a judge picks the third person.
The recount is administered by the Scott County Auditor’s Office. The deadline to request one is Friday. In the event of a recount, Moritz anticipates the process would be completed by Monday.
Moritz said she does not expect a recount would change the results because of the preciseness of the equipment the auditor’s office uses. She said three recounts have been called for during her time in office and the initial results have always held. The official canvas Thursday is an additional process for checking the results and ensuring no errors were made on election night.
Rawson said Wednesday morning she was “cautiously happy” about the immediate results from primary election night but remained concerned given the closeness of her victory. She also welcomed the possibility of a recount, saying she would probably do the same if she were in Portes’ shoes.
If the primary results hold true, Portes' mayoral bid will have met a surprisingly swift end despite his successes with fundraising and spending in this year's mayor's race. His background and vision for the city were among the reasons he won an endorsement from the Iowa Growth PAC, the political spending arm of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.