Box after box, filled with ballots cast in the Democratic runoff for Kemper County sheriff, were reopened Friday as defeated candidate Johnny Harpole searched for a reason to call for a recount.
"He has the right to look into each box and investigate, look at ballots, absentee ballots, to look at sign in rosters," said interim Circuit Clerk, Roma Allen.
With the help of his lawyer, Harpole Friday began reviewing each ballot.
"Because of the close numbers, we're looking for any discrepancies that would lead to a recount of the votes and reexamine the election," said Harpole's attorney, Bill Ready, Jr.
In the Aug. 5 primary that involved four candidates, Harpole received 31 percent of the vote, trailing Sheriff Sam Tisdale, who had 39 percent. In the Aug. 26 runoff, Harpole lost by a mere 45 votes.
Unless something changes, Tisdale would face three independents in the Nov. 4 general election. But the close margin of the runoff provoked concern.
"We have found some discrepancies with the total count of people that have voted," Ready said.
Those alleged discrepancies could lead to a petition to the Democratic Executive Committee for a recount.
"I am going to wait it out, and work on campaigning for the next election," said Sheriff Tisdale, the Democratic nominee.