Village of Ames invalidates election

AMES – Village officials decided to invalidate and seal the ballot box for the election results Tuesday because of the design of the ballot.

Officials said another vote will be scheduled at a later date

No candidate is aware of who was chosen in the two-way contest for mayor and three-way election for two trustees, village Trustee Mike McMahon said.

The results were kept sealed, impounded and put in the care of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Election Commissioner Terrance Smith said.

McMahon said the ballot didn’t include a write-in space for the mayor’s race, and grouped the trustee candidates in a way that gave candidate Katie Bottger an advantage.

Incumbent McMahon and Sandy Malcolm were grouped into a single box, advising voters to “pick one,” while Bottger held her own line on the ballot advising voters to “pick one” for that space.

McMahon said in the village write-in candidates have often won the race for mayor, which made not having a write-in option a problem.

He said village officials are consulting with an attorney and the Board of Elections to determine the next course of action.

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