Whitefish Council a Tie

By Beacon Staff

The Whitefish City Council election is the gift that keeps on giving. After two recounts and a 150-ballot discrepancy caused by overstuffed voting machines, a hand count Monday morning showed Martin McGrew and Turner Askew each have 696 votes.

By state law, the city council will have to appoint either McGrew or Askew at an upcoming meeting. The current council may be tasked with the appointment, or it might be pushed back until the new council is in place in January. City Clerk Necile Lorang said the appointment date is being discussed.

After the original ballot count on Nov. 5, Askew took the third council seat by four votes. The other two seats went to John Muhlfeld and Ryan Friel, who both won by comfortable margins. The following day, Nov. 7, two ballot recounts read approximately 150 more ballots, distributing more than 500 previously unregistered votes across the race’s seven candidates and giving the advantage to McGrew, 694-692. Askew requested another recount, which resulted in Monday’s hand count.

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