Recounts affirm election winners in Grand Isle-Chittenden and Bennington-1 House races

Voters cast their ballots at the Bennington firehouse polling place on Election Day, Aug. 9. File photo by Tiffany Tan/VTDigger

Recounts confirmed the winners in two races for Vermont House seats.

In Grand Isle-Chittenden, a two-member district covering Alburgh, Isle La Motte, Milton, North Hero and South Hero, Rep. Michael Morgan, R-Milton and Democrat Josie Leavitt prevailed over Republican candidate Andy Paradee and Democratic candidate Karin Ames, according to a judgment signed this month by Superior Court Judge Samuel Hoar Jr. 

And in Bennington-1, a single-seat district covering Pownal, Readsboro, Searsburg, Stamford and Woodford, Rep. Nelson Brownell, D-Pownal beat Republican Bruce Busa, according to a judgment by Superior Court Judge John W. Valente.

Paradee filed for the recount in Grand Isle-Chittenden after falling 10 votes short of a seat. Paradee didn't respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The recount yielded only slight changes in the results from election night, with Ames losing one vote and Morgan and Paradee each gaining a vote. According to the final results, Morgan (2,242 votes) and Leavitt (2,151) edged out Paradee (2,142) and Ames (2,139).

“I have total confidence in the elections. And the recount just confirms that,” Leavitt told VTDigger Tuesday. “And the other thing that recount does is it reconfirms that every vote absolutely matters.”

In Bennington-1, Busa, a Republican from Readsboro, requested a recount after falling 26 votes short of the incumbent. During the recount, the margin narrowed to 20 votes. 

Brownell didn't respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

“It was an overall excellent experience. We got a whole bunch more people involved in civics with the recount,” Busa said.

Busa, however, expressed frustration that several of his requests weren’t granted, including a request to count the ballots by hand before processing them through the vote tabulator.

“There is still some things that can be done better, I would say, and we're going to go about it by trying to petition the Legislature to get some of the things that I requested in the recount procedure,” Busa said.

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Juliet Schulman-Hall

About Juliet

Juliet Schulman-Hall recently graduated from Smith College, majoring in English, minoring in sociology and concentrating in poetry. Most recently, she has worked for MassLive covering abortion and the environment, among other topics. Prior to that, she worked for Ms. Magazine and has done freelance work for PBS's Next Avenue and Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.

Email: jschulman-hall@vtdigger.org

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