Recount Going More Quickly Than Anticipated
09/09/10 5:51PM By Bob Kinzel  Download MP3
(Host) The vote recount in the Democratic gubernatorial race is going much faster than many officials thought it would.
It now appears likely that final, unofficial results will be available by the weekend. And at this point, Peter Shumlin's small lead over Doug Racine is holding up.
VPR's Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) Sometimes the work of the people recounting the votes can be very difficult. In Montpelier, counters had reviewed over 2,100 ballots when they discovered that they were missing one write-in ballot.
So they went back and searched through every packet that contained ballots.
(Counter) "Does it say how many write-ins there are?"
(Counter) "Yes. It says 6. So we're missing one. Those. We've got to go through those first."
(Kinzel) They found the vote and closed the books on the recount in Washington County.
County Clerk Claire Mee is coordinating the statewide recount. She says it's going much quicker than she thought it would because optical scan machines are being used in the recount:
(Mee) "I thought two weeks would be realistic from our past history. But we never have used the scanners before. So it definitely made a difference in our county, and probably most counties."
(Kinzel) Many of the state's 14 counties have now reported their unofficial results. Mee says there's been little change in the original tally that put Peter Shumlin ahead by 197 votes.
(Mee) "Nothing, yet. Nothing, yet. Maybe one here, one there, but nothing like the auditor's race, which was apparent the first morning. We had a lot of calls coming in from the different counties because they were so off so. I would have gotten the calls because the judge has to be made aware of that."
(Kinzel) Mee says once all the county clerks have sent their official results to her office, the tally will be certified by Judge Geoffrey Crawford.
(Mee) "I have to take all of their tallies and put it on a master sheet for the 14 counties statewide with the final figures and present it to the judge and he will issue an order certifying the end result of the race. And it's up to the candidates if they want a hearing. Usually there's a hearing if there's disputed ballots. But in this case, so far we don't have any disputed or questionable ballots."
(Kinzel) Mee says it's likely that the results will be certified by next Monday or Tuesday.
For VPR News, I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier
(Host ) Going into the recount, Shumlin led Racine by 197 votes. Now, with 12 counties finished recounting ballots, Shumlin has added 17 votes to his total and Racine has added ten.