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Ind. state Rep. Rita Fleming to retain seat after vote canvass

11102022_District 71 State Representative_Rita Fleming_Indiana House Democrats
Indiana House Democrats
lection results certified this week show Indiana House District 71 Democratic incumbent Rita Fleming winning by 156 votes in Clark County, and 70 in Floyd County.

A vote canvass in Southern Indiana has changed the outcome in the race for state House District 71.

Democratic incumbent state Rep. Rita Fleming will keep her seat, after Friday’s canvass in Clark County pushed her past Republican challenger Scott Hawkins.

Hawkins, a teacher and Jeffersonville City Council member, led Fleming by just 35 votes in the unofficial results released on Election Night. But Clark County Clerk Susan Popp said state data for voter turnout didn’t match up with the county’s vote tallies.

The Clark County Election Board announced the issue on Thursday and attributed it to an error with a voting machine.

The canvass resulted in more than 1,000 votes being added to the total tally, giving Fleming the edge, as of Friday afternoon.

Popp told WFPL News it’s an unfortunate situation that’s likely to cause emotions to run high.

“I would just invite everyone to let the process play out,” she said. “I think at the end of the day, everyone just wants your vote to be counted, and you want to have an accurate election with integrity.”

Fleming, a retired OB-GYN from Jeffersonville, is in her second term. She said she’s happy with the outcome.

“I felt like I have so much more to do as a state representative,” she said. “And now, to be able to get the opportunity to do that and serve the people in my district for another two years is an awesome opportunity, and I look forward to it.”

Popp said votes do not have to be certified with the state until Nov. 21. The Republican Party and Hawkins, who could not be reached for comment,  will have opportunities to challenge the results.

This story may be updated.

John, News Editor for LPM, is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Email John at jboyle@lpm.org.