Mullen vs Koch re-count

Votes are being hand counted in the race for the Franklin County Commissioner seat two with only 29 votes separating the candidates.

Franklin County Commissioner republican candidate Randy Mullen hit the pavement last week knocking on doors alerting voters of their mismarked ballots and urging them to send in revisions.

"Every vote counts," says Mullen.

After the first electronic count of 25 thousand ballots only 16 votes separated Randy Mullen from Bob Koch.

Mullens' effort finally paid off with more ballot returns to the auditor's office. 

"There's only 29 votes separating Bob Koch and Randy Mullen," says Franklin County auditor Jeff Burckhard.

But the race still neck and neck.

With less than a quarter of a percent of the vote separating the two a hand count started Tuesday with the help of anyone qualified.

"They need to be a registered voter and they also have to have an interest in helping us out,"Burckhard added.

The auditor's office says counters are paid ten dollars an hour, and are often veterans of the process.

"In teams of two they are looking to make sure which candidate received a vote they are putting it into a pile for that candidate and then they are counting," Burckhard said.

The two people work to check each other's progress to ensure no errors slip through and that every vote counts. 

"We go through our policies and procedures and do demonstrations with a team to show them how to do it," Burckhard continued.

Each group separates ballots by precinct, 104 in total.

Counting for 8 to 12 hours a day and in a race this close if the vote is split 50-50.

"We would be required to do a coin toss to actually determine who the winner of the race is," Burckhard said,

For Mullen and Koch it could come down to heads or tails.