OSCEOLA, IOWA — A mayoral election ultimately decided by a name drawn out of a candy dish is now being disputed by the incumbent.
Current Osceola mayor Thomas Kedley tied with challenger Matt Stoll in the November election. Stoll’s name was picked from the candy dish to settle the tie, but Kelley claims the election should be challenged because of voter fraud.
“At the end of the day, there was not a sincere clear winner,” Kedley said. “Sure, we followed the draw, but that would not have been a situation if the voter fraud would not have happened. Someone would have won by one vote.”
Kedley officially filed douments to contest the election results. He claims there is a condemned house that someone used for an address on their voter information. Kedley wants to throw out that vote and start over with a completely new election.
“I decided on the 29th to contest the mayoral election,” Kedley said.
However, Stoll believes all of the votes tallied in the mayoral election, including the vote challenged by Kedley, were legitimate.
“I don’t think that a county resident should be voting in local elections, but to define this person as a county resident is tough,” Stoll said. “He declared his homestead in town, but he lives out in the country most of the time.”
“By law, he voted legally, and we are not above the law,” Stoll continued. “No one is above the law no matter how much they might think they are.”
According to both candidates, neither one knows which candidate the voter in question chose in the election. Kedley acknowledged a possible re-examination could cement Stoll’s status as mayor, but persists his motivation is for the people of Osceola, not for himself.
The two-pronged issue is being handled by two different counties. The voter fraud case is being settled in Madison County Attorney Matt Schultz, and the contested election case will likely take place at the Clarke County Courthouse in Osceola.
While Kedley prepares his arguments, Stoll is set to officially take over as mayor on New Year’s Day.
“I want to serve this city, I want to fix this city, and I want Osceola to thrive,” Stoll said. “We’ve got to get past this.”