The Norman Transcript

November 7, 2012

Stiles retains seat by 18 votes; provisional ballots still in play

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Incumbent House member Aaron Stiles will retain his east Norman seat, according to complete, but unofficial returns from state House District 45  early today.

Election board officials said Stiles, a Republican, received 6,786 votes to 6,768 for challenger Paula Roberts, a Democrat. Election board secretary Jim Williams said his staff will begin researching 69 provisional ballots cast in that race on Thursday. If they are deemed to be legitimate voters, the ballots will be fed into the machines and recorded. They are not yet counted and do not figure into the totals that gave Stiles the lead.

Countywide, Williams said, there were more than 500 provisional ballots cast.

The race was one of the closest statewide.The final tally wasn’t available until shortly after 5 a.m. today. Incomplete returns led to some early celebrations from the Roberts watch party. Only later was it determined that the counts favored Stiles.

Officials said Stiles received 50.1 percent of the 13,554 votes cast with Roberts receiving 49.9 percent.

Although the results are complete, they are not certified as final until the election board meets Friday afternoon.

Williams said the delay was caused when absentee ballots that are usually opened with a machine had to be opened by hand to keep from tearing ballots. Additionally, a scanner used to count them malfunctioned resulting in maintenance visits from the state Election Board.