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Candidates tied for final Jacksonville council seat

Candidates Jim Lewis and David Jesser are tied at 698 votes each for the third and final seat on the Jacksonville City Council in the latest unofficial election count, released at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday by the Jackson County Clerk's Office.

Ballots that were challenged because they were rejected by the tabulation machines or did not match signatures on record are still being counted and could change the totals in the Jacksonville race, County Clerk Chris Walker said.

Final results must be certified by Nov. 22.

A separation of three or fewer votes on the final tally would produce an automatic recount in the race. Regulations call for a recount when the difference between two candidates is less than 0.2 percent of the total ballots cast for the two.

Lewis had led the contest since counting began Nov. 2, but his margin never exceeded 11 votes. Both candidates trail incumbent Councilman Dan Winterburn, who has 705 votes, and Paul Hayes, who received 792.

Winterburn lost a council seat to Donna Schatz in the 2008 election in an automatic recount. Final certification showed Winterburn with a three-vote lead, but the recount in early December gave the win to Schatz by five votes. Winterburn was later appointed to a council vacancy.