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TIPTON COUNTY, Ind. — The race for the Republican nomination for sheriff in Tipton County has gotten even tighter.

On election night, the Republican primary race for Tipton County Sheriff came down to one vote separating the candidates. It all came down to a canvas of the votes to check for any outstanding votes.

On Monday, the final election results were certified to the state. In Tipton County, the canvas of the vote found one additional vote for the Republican primary election. This one vote tied up the race.

How this happened

According to state code, election results are considered unofficial until the county election board completes a canvas of election results and tallies all ballots. This includes eligible provisional ballots and late-arriving overseas voter absentee ballots. These ballots must be postmarked on or before the date of the election and arrive before noon ten days after the election.

The circuit court clerk then has until noon the second Monday after the primary to prepare a statement identifying all votes cast at the election. With the primary election taking place on May 3, the clerk had until noon on May 16 to submit this statement.

What happens during the canvas of the votes?

Indiana code specifies that the election board needs to start the canvas of the votes after polls close. During this process, canvassers are in a public area and take a careful look at all certificates, poll lists, and tally sheets. They tabulate all votes cast for all offices and on all public questions.

Members of the election board inspect records from all vote sources, including tally cards, ballot cards, or
paper ballots; tally print-outs from the individual voting system units and election management system (EMS) printouts; absentee ballots; tally of voter signatures at check-in (if paper poll lists are utilized) or printouts from electronic poll books used for the precinct at voter check-in; or VVPAT print-outs from direct record electronic voting system units.

What’s next for the Republican Sheriff primary?

According to Indiana code, whenever a tie vote occurs at a primary election, a candidate vacancy results. This vacancy is filled through a caucus of eligible precinct committeemen, the party chairman (if the chairman has received authority from the county committee to fill candidate vacancies), or a caucus of party officers.

We reached out to the Tipton County Republican chairman for comment. We will update this article when we receive a response.