The margin narrowed, but Michael Poppa still came out ahead in the Roeland Park race for the Ward 4 city council seat after the official results were posted Monday afternoon. Poppa won the election by four votes.
Poppa originally held a five-vote lead over JoAnna Rush when the votes were counted in last Tuesday’s election, 289-284. However, 15 provisional ballots were cast in the election, making it mathematically possible that Rush still could win if enough of those ballots were allowed to be counted and if she could win a substantial majority.
After the Johnson County Election Board of Canvassers met Monday, 11 of the 15 provisional ballots were added to the count. Rush picked up six of those votes and Poppa picked up five of the votes, making the final official outcome 294-290 for Poppa. Both Poppa and Rush had come out ahead of council president Marek Gliniecki in the primary election, ending Gliniecki’s time on the council.
In another close Roeland Park election, Erin Thompson added to her margin over Linda Mau when the results of the provisional ballots were added in. Thompson won by a final count of 205-193 for a 12-vote victory. After voting on Tuesday, Thompson had led by nine votes, 201-192. Five of six provisional ballots were counted in that race.
Provisional ballots are cast when there is some question about the validity of the ballot. If a voter does not have an ID or does not appear in the poll book can trigger a provisional ballot – among other reasons. Voters are allowed to cast a provisional ballot which is sealed until it can be researched. The Board of Canvassers then determines which of the provisional ballots will be counted as legitimate votes.
“I am grateful to my neighbors in Ward 4, for believing in my ability to help lead Roeland Park. I look forward to working together and ensuring the future of our community,” Poppa said after final results were compiled.
The precinct results showed Poppa and Rush almost evenly split the first precinct and Rush won precinct two while Poppa won precinct three. Poppa said precincts one and three lie on the west side of the ward and he felt from his door-to-door experience they trend younger. Precinct two is on the east side of the ward and includes St. Agnes and Bishop Miege, Poppa said.