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Keith Brown winning sheriff's race by 24 votes

Posted on 11/5/2014, 1:28 AM

As it stood election night the victor in the Saline County Sheriff’s race succeeded by 24 votes.

In unofficial election night totals incumbent Democrat Keith Brown received 3,987 votes to challenger Republican Mike Gribble's 3,963.

And votes will continue to be tabulated until 4 p.m. Nov. 18.

As explained by Saline County Clerk and Recorder Kim Buchanan there are 191 ballots still in question. Of those 156 are late absentee votes, meaning someone requested to vote absentee, but the County Clerk’s office has not received their ballots. Those received with a postmark of Nov. 3 will be counted, but those with postmark Nov. 4 or later will not be.

Of absentee ballots received by Election Day, 35 are rejected. Buchanan said these were ballots received that either were not placed in the proper certified envelope or that contained a questionable signature on the ballot or certified envelope. On Wednesday the County Clerk’s office will mailing 35 cards to those whose absentee ballots are in question and those voters will have until 4 p.m. Nov. 18 to visit the office in person and prove to election judges they did indeed vote that ballot.

In such a close race those outlying ballots could make a big difference in the final tally.

“At 8 a.m. Nov. 19, everything is canvassed, everything is official,” Buchanan said.

Brown said he was pleased with the hard work both sides put into the campaign.

“It’s been a Republican trend in the county, it appears, and the state. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work for both candidates in this election. It’s the way of this job to let the people decide and that’s how it works,” Brown said.

Brown gives high praise to his family and supporters, especially his wife, Nina, for getting out into the community and knocking on doors to deliver his message.

“My family worked really hard for me and I’m happy, at this juncture, that it’s paid off,” Brown said.

Brown said his campaign officially ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday and he is looking to life getting back to normal.

“Now it’s time to pick up signs. Maybe it will get a little quieter around the community and we can move forward. It’s time to do business,” Brown said.

Brown enjoyed Election Day with his family. His children visited, he voted and has been spending the day thanking his friends.

Gribble said he spent the day working at the Harrisburg Masonic Lodge Ham and Bean Dinner and when that ended he voted. Then he waited to hear the election results. He said he was not surprised by the close outcome.

“I’m never surprised by anything. We worked hard. We’ll see how the rest of the votes come in and see what it does,” Gribble said.

Gribble said the last couple months he has been meeting a range of people throughout the county talking about his goals as sheriff.

“The last two months my wife and I worked about every street in every town in Saline County. We put in a good effort and met a lot of really nice people,” Gribble said.

Both will be eager for Nov. 19 to roll around.

“It’s not over until the votes are counted and I look for the day that will be finalized,” Brown said.

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