Official votes are finally in!
More than five weeks after the town council election, the outcome is decided with Rex Watters III and Lance Miller as the winners.
Watters was clearly the top winner, but Miller and Bruce Gould finished five votes apart. However, there were some provisional ballots to count and those left Miller one vote ahead of Gould.
Gould filed a petition for a recount and after today’s recount, Gould ended up two votes behind.
In the previous count done by the RBM machine, Rex Watters III finished with 120 votes, Lance Miller 118 and Gould 117. The final results done by hand with the recount committee this morning found Watters III at 123, Miller at 119, and Gould 117.
“Like I said before this could’ve gone either way and that’s how it went,” said Gould. “I’m satisfied with the recount and congratulate the winners.”
In the court hearing on Dec, 6, County Judge Mary Wertz appointed Theresa Cobian, Republican representative, Victor Bongard, Democrat Representative and Janet Buchannan with the RBM consulting voting system as the recount committee. Buchannan was not able to be present so Ryan Shillito with RBM took her place with the judge’s approval. The state requires a representative from RBM and the voting machine to be present.
According to the recount committee, some ballots may not have been counted by the machine because they were not marked enough, i.e. they were not completely filled in, were circled or dotted, etc. So, the committee can then ID the voter and count them.
“Nothing really changed, or very few changes anyway,” said Gould. “Looking at the ballots where someone only voted for one person, there were 27 of those, and that’s what explains the changes that did happen. Apparently the machine didn’t read those but manually they picked them up.”
Ross Benson ended with 92 votes, Nancy Crocker 52 and Marguerite Collins had 19.