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Incorrect results posted in St. Gabriel mayor's race, causing confusion

1 year 4 weeks 14 hours ago Monday, May 01 2023 May 1, 2023 May 01, 2023 10:32 PM May 01, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Newcomer Kyle Grace and 12-year incumbent Mayor Lionel Johnson faced off Saturday in the mayoral election for the city of St. Gabriel.

Near the end of a tight race, it looked like Grace would take down the long time mayor, and he did. At least that's what it seemed like.

The Iberville Parish Clerk of Court posted a live feed of the results showing Grace was the winner. Shortly after, confusion set in as the results showed that Johnson was actually staying in office. 

"Well, I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken and let down. As far as the numbers were concerned, in fact he had the winning numbers -- and then it all flip-flopped, for whatever reason,and that's what we want answers to," a former commissioner of Iberville Parish, Terry Frazier, said.

The Iberville Parish Clerk of Court, Amy Patin, posted to Facebook apologizing for the confusion and cited a technical failure with the database as a reason for the flipping of numbers.

"It's a hard thing to get over. We're running against a 12-year incumbent and we gave it our all. To have that compromised by saying 'Oh you won,' and then 20-30 minutes later come back and say, 'Oh well we made a mistake,' that was just kind of difficult," mayoral candidate Kyle Grace said.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State told WBRZ that the Secretary and the Commissioner of Elections were aware of this on election night. There is no concern that the results the Secretary of State has are inaccurate.

"Our count is the only count that matters. Only our results should be relied upon," he said.

Those results will be certified next week.

Grace hopes future elections in St. Gabriel will avoid such confusion.

"Those that have the power to make sure these things go smoothly need to do everything in their power to. It's not always the thing to be first; it's to be accurate. The misinformation that you let get out may be something that changes someone's voting pattern forever," Grace said.

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