Candidates have 48 hours to request recounts

By: Sutton Stokes

Dave Parker has been elected to a new term on Elkins Common Council representing Fifth Ward, the Elkins council confirmed today after concluding its noon canvass of the 2017 Elkins Municipal Election. Candidates have 48 hours to request a recount in writing to the Elkins city clerk and post a $300 bond, an amount set by council at the beginning of this meeting. Barring recount requests, today’s vote tallies will be certified as final on Wednesday.

Council was meeting in its capacity as the Elkins Canvassing Board, with technical support from Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton.

The outcome of the Fifth Ward race was the only one that hung in the balance as the canvass of the city’s Tuesday, March 7 election began. Unofficial results announced last Tuesday by Sutton showed Parker beating challenger Cody Thompson by only two votes, leaving open the possibility that the five provisional ballots to be examined at today’s canvass could have swung that ward’s election to Thompson.

But at today’s canvass, after considering the circumstances of each provisional ballot, council accepted only two of the five provisional Fifth Ward ballots. When opened, those two ballots contained votes for Parker and Mayor Van Broughton, resulting in an updated Fifth Ward vote tally of 48 for Parker and 44 for Thompson. None of the other ward’s election night results were close enough that provisional ballots could have changed the initially announced outcomes.

In attendance at today’s canvass were Mayor Van Broughton; council members Marilynn Cuonzo (Fourth Ward), Dave Parker (Fifth Ward), Linda Vest (Fifth  Ward), Rhett Dusenbury (First  Ward), Bob Woolwine (First Ward), Charlie Friddle (Second Ward), Gene Ochsendorf (Second  Ward), and Carman Metheny (Third Ward); and City Attorney Gerry Roberts. Fourth Ward Council Member Nanci Bross-Fregonara and newly appointed Third Ward Council Member Christopher Lowther were absent. The vote to declare the above updated vote totals was unanimous.

The Elkins Canvassing Board adjourned at 3:15 p.m. Its next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on March 15, when it will reconvene to certify the following results of the 2017 Elkins Municipal Election in all races for which no recount request has been received. At press time, the city clerk had not received any recount requests.

Results “Declared” by Council on Monday, March 13, 2017

Mayor

  • Broughton: 517 (winner)
  • Barbagallo, Jr.: 25

1st Ward

  • Chenoweth: 142 (winner)
  • Dusenbury: 34
  • Yorkey: 84
  • Johns: 17

2nd Ward

  • Friddle: 76 (unopposed)

3rd Ward

  • Metheny: 31 (unopposed)

4th Ward

  • Hazen: 66 (unopposed)

5th Ward

  • Parker: 48 (winner)
  • Reese: 18
  • Knapp, Jr.: 3
  • Thompson: 44
  • Chewning, Jr: 4
  • Moore: 4

All of the above terms commence April 1; Elkins council members are elected to staggered four-year terms. The mayor’s term is only two years. The next election will be in March 2019, when it will be the turn of council’s other five members to face the voters.

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