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Election results were verified Friday and Ward 3, Position 1, candidate Jim Wozniak was declared the winner in his election.

Because the race was close enough to the 20% threshold for a runoff election, with Wozniak earning 43.89% of the vote for his seat, trailed by John Nuttall at 23.06%, a few ballots could have shifted the total enough to require a runoff.

Benton County Election Commission election supervisor Kim Dennison said that the commission was waiting on military ballots to properly certify election results and Wozniak was one of four candidates whose election could be shifted into a runoff by these ballots -- but until they arrive and are counted it is impossible to say what effect, if any, they might have.

"We certified the election on Friday and it held true, there is still not going to be a runoff in Bella Vista," she said. "Jim Wozniak will hold his position."

Wozniak said he was relieved to have the election finished because a runoff can be very difficult, especially because the current covid-19 pandemic has made advertising extremely difficult.

"Runoffs are tough ... nobody hardly votes," he said.

Low turnouts are likely for a runoff, he said, and in this case -- with the runoffs scheduled four weeks after the general election, just in time for many residents to head south for warmer weather and enough time for people to forget about the election -- turnout could be particularly poor.

"I'm satisfied that it's over and there's no runoff; it's a relief," he said.

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