Editor's note: After the election results were updated around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, candidate Ryan Davis had overtaken Jeremy Kunshier and had a two vote lead for the second Braham city council seat. Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will still be counted through the end of day on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Updated information: No additional absentee ballots were counted on Monday or Tuesday, Nov. 9 - 10. Therefore the final election results are the same as in the above editor's note.
The extra-large number of candidates vying to be elected in Braham’s three local races created quite the conundrum for voters, who responded by splitting their votes between candidates. While not being as contentious as the presidential election, the local results are so close that not all winners will be determined until all the eligible absentee ballots received by the end of day Nov. 10 are counted.
It was a tight two-way race between current Mayor Patricia “Tish” Carlson and current council member Shawn Sullivan. As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Carlson held a slim, 34 vote lead, with 411 votes to Sullivan’s 377. While that margin should be large enough to prevent Sullivan from catching Carlson via the uncounted absentee ballots, there still remains a small chance based on the possible number of outstanding ballots.
This race is definitely still too close to call. With two seats up for grabs, Seth Zeltinger has claimed one of them, garnering 374 votes. The second seat, however, is still statistically within reach of three candidates. As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, current council member Jeremy Kunshier is in the lead with 276 votes. Ryan Davis is only two votes behind him with 274, and Mollie Davis could also statistically overtake both of them with 265 votes.
In the school board election, three candidates are a lock to claim seats.
David Shockman has emerged as the top vote-getter, collecting 1,597 votes. Kayla Hagfors is solidly in second place with 1,302 votes. Current school board member Mike Thompson sits in third with 1,213 votes.
Fourth place currently belongs to Catherine Kunshier, who as of 5 p.m. on Nov. 4, has 905 votes. Her place still isn’t statistically safe as current board member Angie Flowers is just 22 votes behind. However, since voters can select up to four candidates, the odds are slim that 23 ballots are still outstanding that feature a vote for Flowers, but not for Kunshier.