Recount confirms Maguire election, changes Finance Board result – Journal Inquirer


ANDOVER — Democrat Jeff Maguire’s election as first selectman was confirmed Monday after a machine recount of votes cast in last week’s election, but a hand recount of Board of Finance votes determined Democrat Dennis Williams lost to Republican Diane Choquette by a single vote, a change from the initial election results.

Election moderator Julie Victoria and the Democratic and Republican registrars recounted the votes Monday for two close races from the May 6 election. The chairs of both local parties — Democrat Shannon Louden and Republican Carol Barton — observed the entire three-hour procedure.

In a machine tabulator recount, election officials determined that Maguire defeated Republican Adrian Mandeville by 256-243. The initial May 6 results had Maguire winning by 264-249.

In a hand recount of the six-way race for four seats on the Board of Finance, results changed from May 6: winners were Republicans Linda Fish with 331 votes, Curt Dowling, 310, and Diane Choquette, 274, as well as Democrat Louise Goodwin, 274. Democrat Dennis Scott Williams lost by one vote, with 273. Democrat Marc Jason Brinker also lost at 238.

The now-overturned initial results showed Williams defeating Choquette. Those results had Williams at 285 votes, Goodwin at 284, and Choquette at 283.

Each candidate had fewer votes in the recount than on May 6. Victoria said that several ballots were discarded in the recount because they were found to have stray marks, which she said might have been counted as votes on May 6.

Monday’s recount used a different vote tabulator machine than May 6. Victoria said that the old machine might have counted checks (rather than filled bubbles) as votes whereas the new machines likely would not count those checks. The hand count did not consider checks to be votes either.

“Different machines count (checks) differently,” Victoria said. “That is probably the discrepancy between the May 6 results and what we saw today.”

Victoria recounted the Finance Board race first by machine. In these results, which were not official, Choquette was found to have 277, more than either Williams or Goodwin. Williams and Goodwin were found to be tied at 274 votes for fourth place.

Upon getting these numbers, local election officials called the secretary of the state’s office and were told that Victoria could call for a hand recount of the Finance Board race, which she did.

Election officials then went through the over 500 ballots and tallied votes for each candidate.

In the hand recount, Choquette’s votes were found to be at 274, three lower than the machine recount. Goodwin remained at 274. Williams received 273, making him the one of the three who will not be seated the Board of Finance.

With this, the Finance Board will have Republicans outnumber Democrats 5-2 once the newly elected officials take office on July 1. Until then, Republicans outnumber Democrats 4-3.



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