They want a “gap day” just before the balloting, although the secretary of state argues that could limit voting. Other reforms are being made to head off further problems with recounts.
POWNAL — A hand recount Wednesday affirmed the Town Meeting Day victory of veteran Selectboard member Nelson Brownell for another term. The recount was requested by challenger Michael George, who was eight votes behind after the initial count March 7 — 259 to 251. Assistant Town Clerk Julie Weber said the totals after the second […]
A clerk had previously opened a ballot bag, which state law allows. But the rules for the recount said it would be called off if a bag had been “tampered with.”
The ballots from the six Orange-1 District towns could take until Thursday to tally.
Rep. Bob Frenier, whose seat is at stake, said he would have preferred a roll call vote on the rules “so the people who voted for this could be interrogated at town meeting.”
The tallying would start Feb. 22. The proposed rules cover everything from how ballots will be picked up from the town offices to what to do in case of tampering.
The actual counting of ballots in the first recount of a House race to be conducted by lawmakers since 1985 is likely still at least two weeks away.
The vote followed more than five hours of debate Wednesday afternoon and evening. A date for the recount hasn’t been set.
“I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding and misperception even about the basic facts of this matter,” said Will Senning, director of elections in the secretary of state’s office.
The question now goes to the full House. Meanwhile, the House speaker said she plans to have lawmakers take a close look at recount procedures after several issues last fall.
The leader of the House Progressive caucus sought to block Bob Frenier from being seated because his election is in dispute.
David Ainsworth, a Royalton Republican, said Rep. Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge, his four-time rival, congratulated him after the tally was announced and the two hugged.
The initial count on Election Day showed incumbent Sarah Buxton with a three-vote lead over David Ainsworth in their Windsor-1 District, but the Nov. 21 recount showed a tie at 1,000 votes apiece. Uncertainty remained over whether two Ainsworth votes had been included in that count.
“Unless the votes change dramatically it’d be unlikely we’d ask for a recount,” Milne said Tuesday evening in a phone interview.