The outcome of Sturgeon Bay’s closest city council Tuesday race is being questioned by at least one person who says he was given a ballot to vote in the wrong ward.
Laurel Hauser was defeated by just three votes in District 7 by challenger Kirsten McFarlin Reeths. A voter who resides in District 6 says he was mistakenly given a ballot to vote in District 7. John Weitermann questioned the error after voting and now wonders how many others may have been given the incorrect ballot.
The polling place for both aldermanic districts is the same. According to City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt, Weitermann voted in District 6 last November but was given a ballot to vote in District 7 for the April 2nd election. Reinhardt cited a computer error as the reason for the wrong ballot being given to Weitermann. She told DoorCountyDailyNews.com no other ballots were cast in the wrong district. She says that the State of Wisconsin has been informed of the error and it is being investigated.
Hauser posted a letter to the editor you can find with this story at DoorCountyDailyNews.com in which she kept open the option for a recount.
Hauser Letter to the Editor
The City of Sturgeon Bay’s new council will do a good job. Coming up three votes short and having been part of a council that created a sea change in some very entrenched city politics, I’m in a unique position to say this. The new council will do a good job. They’ll get a lot right. They’ll make some mistakes, and they’ll, for sure, be misunderstood at times. The job is more difficult and more nuanced than people think.
I am sorry that a lot of misinformation made the rounds in the past couple of months. Complex issues don’t translate well to postcards or ads, and the issues the last council dealt with were very complex. I’m very, very proud of the many things we accomplished.
With little time to digest the election results, I will say that my initial thought is that big and fast pendulum swings are exhausting, and they are the direct result of uncreative leadership.
As we negotiate some of the challenges and the exciting opportunities in our future (and there are a lot of them), I hope we all resist the urge to be flame-fanners. Every society needs a few fanners – so the fire doesn’t go out completely – but it needs far more fire tenders. If you’re a citizen and the only way and time you’re involved is incendiary, you’re not helping. If you’re an elected official and your only answer is “no,” you’re not doing enough.
Going forward, we will need good administration and creative vision. We need both to be outstanding. These virtues rely on good communication. I already see some change happening. When I was elected in 2017, there was little to no discussion between ousted and elected candidates. My opponent in 2019 and I have already exchanged very pleasant notes and are making plans to get together for coffee. That’s a good thing.
Please, no one give up on Sturgeon Bay and, please, don’t dig the trenches deeper. There are more than two sides. We have a community full of talent and passion. I can’t wait to see what Sturgeon Bay looks like ten years from now. I think it’s going to be awesome. (And I don’t use that as a throw-away word.)
Thank you to all who have gotten involved. Please stay involved. As for my own race, we’ll see what evolves in the coming days. I may owe it to the democratic process to have a 3-vote margin recounted. I’ll talk with our city clerk and will try to make a wise decision on that. I’m heartened that I received more votes in yesterday’s election (245) than I received in 2017 (230), and sincerely thank everyone who supported me.