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Former Osceola mayor alleges voter fraud after he's unseated based on name draw

Former mayor Thomas Kedley says he filed to contest the results because he believes a fraudulent vote was cast.

OSCEOLA, Iowa — A mayor's race in Iowa that was decided by pulling a name out of a bowl is now being called into question by one of the candidates.

The Osceola mayoral election ended in a tie after incumbent Thomas Kedley and challenger Matthew Stoll each received 382 votes. Iowa law dictated the draw would be decided by pulling a name out of a bowl, which put Stoll in office.

Kedley said he learned about a potential illegal vote where someone allegedly used a condemned property, which they don't live in, as their address. This ultimately sparked Kedley to officially contest the election results.

"That lot draw wouldn't have happened if that illegal voter wouldn't have voted," said Kedley. "Because someone would have won by one vote on election night or after the recount."

However, Stoll disagrees. He said he studied how that vote was cast, and it follows the letter of the law. He's also concerned the precedent this would set for future elections, especially for residents who split their time between Osceola and other locations.

"The law is very clear on this," Stoll said. "He's established his residency as his house in town. He has voted legally."

In addition to filing to contest the election, Kedley says he turned over the information on alleged voter fraud to the Madison County attorney. 

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