Cox congratulates Morris after reviewing election results

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   City council runner-up Sid Cox says he is satisfied with the outcome of Tuesday's city council race and emphasized the integrity of the county's election process after reviewing tally results that reported him losing the fourth seat on the council by a mere three votes.
   Cox met with Carter County Election Commission officials on Thursday morning to evaluate voting results one day after unofficial results had him finishing fifth in the city council race by three votes to incumbent Diane Morris.
   "I went through all the machines and all the manual counts and everything in the count is in order," Cox said on Thursday. "I want people to know there shouldn't be any question in the results."
   Initial voting reports had Cox leading Morris by a margin of 1,598 votes to 1,588 votes. However, a delayed count of one voting machine at T.A. Dugger precinct pushed her ahead of Cox by three votes in Tuesday's city council race.
   One voting machine that malfunctioned early Tuesday at the T.A. Dugger precinct yielded 49 votes. When those votes were counted, Morris totaled 1,617 votes to 1,614 votes for Cox.
   "I want to congratulate all the candidates, especially Diane Morris, for going back as a council member," he said. "She is a wonderful person and a very capable council member."
   Cox also praised election commission staff for recounting each vote from city precincts with him on Thursday.
   "(Administrator of election) Tracy Harris sat down with me this morning and we looked at all the tabulations," Cox said. "My hat is off to them and all their assistance."
   He also said he hoped the election would finally disprove the cynical notion that one vote makes no difference in an election.
   "If you are a voter and think your vote doesn't make a difference, I hope this will convince you otherwise," Cox added. "I hope people will be reminded of this in the next election and get out to the polls."
   He also said the amount of checks and balances in the county's voting should give the public faith in the integrity of the election process.
   "There has been a lot of speculation about the voting process and I want to emphasize that the election process is a legitimate process in our county," he said.
   Incumbents Sam Shipley, Janie Smith McKinney and Pat "Red" Bowers won re-election to the city council. All results are unofficial until certified by the Carter County Election Commission.
   A former county commissioner and active community participant, Cox didn't rule out another run at public office in the future.
   "I appreciate all my voters and supporters out there," he said. "Right now, I want to take a good long rest, share some time with my family and get on with life."