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Gravatt remains winner in Charles Mix County Sheriff race after recount

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Gravatt remains winner in Charles Mix County Sheriff race after recount
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

LAKE ANDES -- The totals in the Charles Mix County Sheriff's Democratic primary were changed, but the winner remained the same following a recount Monday.

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DesaRae Gravatt has won the nomination by the same two-vote margin she held two weeks ago when the primary election was held, winning by a 325-323 margin. The current Wagner police officer defeated Gene Niehus, the former Wagner police chief who called for the recount.

Sherri Fuchs, the county's auditor, said the recount totals will be canvassed on Thursday by the county commissioners.

The totals on June 3, election day, favored Gravatt by two votes, 324-322. Niehus picked up one more vote when the ballots were officially canvassed last week to make it 324-323.

But Gravatt received one more vote Monday as a result of what is called an overvote, where a person picks two people. In this instance, where it could have potentially created a tie between the two, the bubble for Gravatt was fully filled in, while the bubble for Niehus was only lightly outlined. The recount board said the ballot was clearly in favor of Gravatt and counted the vote for her, Fuchs said.

Gravatt will take on current sheriff and Republican Randy Thaler in the November general election.

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