As elections go, Merriam‘s snow blown barn burner last week was a controversial one…
Or was it?
“The primary election was February 26th when we had all that snow and nobody voted,” says former Merriam council dude Dan Leap. “I mean, I voted but it was only a block away.”
Out of more than 1,600 registered voters in Merriam’s Ward 2 only 88 votes were cast. Kinda reminiscent of KCMO’s controversial streetcar election last year – but I digress.
Merriam hairstylist Julianne Clark won by a landslide, mopping up the floor with more politically established rivals Jim Wymer and John Crabtree who battled it out for second with 25 votes each.
Then in the true spirit of democracy, a coin toss was held, Wymer won and will face Clark in a winner-take-all showdown April 2nd.
But hold it right there…
On closer inspection of the results posted by the Johnson County Election Office, it shows Merriam’s Ward 2 as having three precincts.
“Merriam has four wards but Ward 2 only has two precincts,” Leap says. “In fact there’s really only two precincts in all of the Merriam wards..”
Leap says he’s pointed this out before to JOCO election commissioner Brian Newby, “But he’s sloppy. I mean, he knew about this.”
Hold it right there.
“There are three precincts in that ward,” Newby counters. “We don’t know how many people (live) there, but it does exist…J202 goes from Johnson Drive to Antioch to some water stream and then back to Merriam Drive. There’s also three precincts in Ward 4, two in Ward 1 and two in Ward 3.”
All of that said, Leap still insists there are only two precincts.
As for the coin toss, Crabtree “called heads and it landed on tails,” Newby says. “I was there and watched the silver dollar hit the floor.”
So in any case, they’re off!
Think of it as Beauty vs. The Beast – or as Leap says of Wymer – “He looks like a hillbilly with balding hair.”