Tallies Change, Result Doesn’t: Henry Edges Yarbro

In the fifth and probably final vote total, Davidson County election officials announced Tuesday that state Sen. Douglas Henry won this month’s primary election with 17 more votes than his challenger, Jeff Yarbro.

The recount revealed that three of the 235 absentee votes had previously been miscounted in Yarbro’s favor, according to the county election administrator.

The newest vote tally is the result of a Yarbro-requested recount that the Tennessee Democratic Party approved Monday to double check which candidate won after several changes to the vote totals.

Yarbro, a 33-year-old attorney and first-time candidate for state Senate, said that while he was disappointed with the results, he was satisfied that the outcome was arrived at fairly.

“This is obviously an election that was decided by a very small margin, and I think that the process that happened on election night was one that had to be turned together pretty quickly. But it looks that they did as good as a job as they could under the circumstances,” he said.

Yarbro pledged to support Henry, a state senator who has held the position for 40 years.

Bob Thomas, an attorney and campaign finance chairman for the Henry campaign, said he was frustrated with the changing vote totals, but obviously pleased with the outcome.

“It takes a little diligence to get it accurate and I think that, perhaps, the rush for results may not always be conducive to accuracy. And I think this recount has demonstrated that accuracy is much more important than the rush to get results,” he said.

Davidson County elections employees spent about three hours Tuesday recounting 235 absentee ballots and retabulating vote totals from primary election day’s voting machines.

Yarbro ultimately lost 5,734 votes to 5,717 votes. He’d trailed Henry by 11 votes last week after county election officials discovered a voting machine with totals that hadn’t been added on election day.

The vote totals changed four times since the Aug. 4 primary election.

Ray Barrett, Davidson County elections administrator, said despite the shifting totals, he’s confident that Tuesday’s results are accurate, adding he’s “sorry that some bad numbers got out there.”

Press Releases

Dems To Consider Henry-Yarbro Recount

Statement from Tennessee Democratic Party; Aug. 18, 2010:

TNDP Chair Chip Forrester Statement Concerning Requested Recount Of Primary Election Between State Sen. Doug Henry and Mr. Jeff Yarbro.

“Sen. Henry and Mr. Yarbro met this morning to discuss Mr. Yarbro’s request for a recount. At the end of that discussion, a procedure was proposed and agreed to by Mr. Yarbro regarding a recount of the election. Sen. Henry does not oppose the procedure.

“As part of that procedure, I will convene a meeting of our executive committee, which also serves as our state Primary Board, at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, at the Freedom Room of the Tennessee Democratic Party headquarters.

“During the meeting, the Primary Board will consider the proposal and whether we should order the Davidson County Election Commission to conduct a recount.”