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Improper Ballot Security Causes Recount Denial

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Improper ballot security causes recount denial

Ballots were not secured with official horseshoe lock


News Staff Reporter

A ballot recount for one of the seats in the Ann Arbor District Library Board election, decided in June by a three-vote margin, was denied because of improper ballot security.

Ruth Winter, president of the board last term, requested a recount of the absentee ballots after losing her position by three votes June 10. The absentee voter precinct processed the most ballots among the district’s 41 precincts in the library board election and therefore had the greatest possibility for error.

The container holding the absentee ballots was secured with a padlock instead of the approved horseshoe lock, said Election Administrator Melanie Weidmayer. She said that election law states that a recount cannot be done if the ballots are not sealed with the official lock.

“We don’t believe that the ballots were tampered with, that never crossed my mind,” said Weidmayer. “That’s just the election law. It’s to keep the integrity of the election.”

Six candidates ran for three four-year term positions on the board, won by Connie Greene, William Kincaid and Barbara Murphy. Because the recount was denied, the original count stands. Among the winners, Kincaid had the lowest vote count at 2,951, edging out Winter who received 2,948 votes.

Election officials said the absentee ballot precinct probably did not receive the proper lock for the ballot container, but could not specify how the error occurred. Weidmayer simply attributed the mistake to “human error.”

“Nobody’s perfect. We do everything we can to make sure the elections are run correctly,” she said.

Weidmayer said no disciplinary action would be taken, but letters were going to be sent to election coordinators to reinforce proper election procedures.

Photo Caption: Ruth Winter requested a recount of library board ballots, which was denied.