WESTPORT, Conn. — Election Day may officially be over, but results from three of Westport’s nine Representative Town Meeting district races will be recounted Friday morning, Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said Wednesday.
The recount is being called as a result of close races in Districts 2, 4 and 8, Strauss said. This will be the first recount since 2007, when ballots from District 2 were recounted, she said.
“We can’t declare winners in those RTM districts yet,” said Strauss. “Under the law, anytime there is difference of less than 20 votes in a race, there’s an automatic recount, unless the candidate waives his or her right for a recount.”
The recount will apply to all RTM candidates in those three districts, Strauss said, not just those whose results are neck-and-neck.
In District 2, there were six candidates: Joseph Arcudi, Catherine Calise, Jay Keenan, Craig Fisher, Neil Phillips and Louis Mall. Unofficial results show Arcudi received 321 votes; Calise, 464 votes; Keenan, 411 votes; Fisher, 330 votes; Phillips, 332 votes; and Mall, 484 votes. Though it’s safe to assume Mall, Calise and Keenan won re-election, the fourth and final seat in the district is still up in the air, as there’s only a 12-vote difference between Arcudi, Fisher and Phillips.
In District 4, there were five candidates. The unofficial tally shows Kristan Hamlin received 363 votes; David Floyd, 334 votes; Clarissa Moore, 423 votes; Jeff Wieser, 372 votes; and Jonathan Cunitz, 326 votes.
The race in District 8 also included five candidates: Lee Arthurs, Carla Rea, Wendy Batteau, Peter Knight and Lois Schine. Current results show Arthurs with 416 votes; Rea with 425 votes; Batteau with 453 votes; Knight with 420 votes; and Schine with 428 votes.
The outcome of the recount will only affect these three RTM district races, Strauss said. Results from the townwide races, like the selectmen’s race, will not be affected by the recount, she said, as those results have already been certified.
In the recount, all ballots cast in Districts 2, 4 and 8 — including absentee ballots — will first be examined by ballot officials and then counted by machine.
“At the polling place, the ballot goes from the voter’s hand to the machine to get counted. In a recount, the ballot will be viewed by ballot officials, who will look at whether the ballot was filled out correctly,” Strauss explained. “For example, they will check to see whether the oval was bubbled-in properly, whether there are any stray marks on the ballot or something else that would prevent the machine from counting the vote.”
The recount will begin Friday morning in Room 201 at Town Hall. Strauss said she cannot estimate how long it will take, but is hopeful it will be completed by the end of day.
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