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Osceola's new mayor sworn in after drawing name from bowl, allegations of voter fraud

Voter fraud is still being investigated. Unless the investigation reveals evidence of voter fraud, Matt Stoll will remain the city's mayor by the luck of the draw.

OSCEOLA, Iowa — After the race for the mayor in Osceola ended last year, county supervisors called a special session to decide the winner after it resulted in a 382-382 tie.

Iowa law dictates breaking the tie has to be done by drawing the winner's name. Kevin Hall, communications director for the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, said it's not uncommon for some elections to end by drawing, especially in smaller towns.

"[In] long-standing Iowa law, the way to determine a tie is the names are placed into a receptacle, it can be a candy dish, which was the case in Osceola, or a hat or something of that nature, and an impartial third party draws the name out of the hat and that person is declared the winner," Hall said.

The winner: Matthew Stoll. He defeated incumbent mayor Thomas Kendley.

"Obviously a vote coming in that close was tough to, to grasp. Things kind of cooled out after the after the name draw. It was interesting to see the process. I obviously personally never gone through it. I've never even heard of it," Stoll said.

Former mayor Thomas Kedley filed to contest the results because he believed a fraudulent vote was cast. That made the ease of pulling a name from a candy dish a sticky situation which lead them to a courtroom.

"I did not want to go through a contest court," Stoll said. "The way it was handled, the way it was filed. The timeline that was filed was all very inappropriate to me. If you're going to make an allegation of voter fraud, and you're going to say that you're going to contest the election, you do it quickly, you don't wait till the last minute of the 11th hour to file."

During that court session, the judge ruled that due to the filing not being presented ten days after the results of the election, Stoll would be sworn in as Osceola's mayor

"I'm happy to serve and give my time and my effort and what knowledge I have. And I am excited to get moving forward as mayor," Stoll said.

Local 5  reached out to incumbent Thomas Kedley and did not hear back. 

Voter fraud is still being investigated, but unless the results of that investigation present evidence of voter fraud, Stoll will be Osceola's mayor by the luck of the draw. 

WATCH | After Osceola mayoral race decided by name draw, incumbent alleges voter fraud skewed results 

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