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Run-off may break town's first election tie

May 13, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

If a ballot recount scheduled for Tuesday does not resolve what Town Manager John Kendall believes is the first election tie in Boonsboro history, the town probably will hold its first run-off election, Kendall said Wednesday.

Town Councilmen Richard Gross, 70, and Kevin Chambers, 43, have formally requested a recount after they both received 87 votes in the May 10 election, Kendall said.

There were two council seats open. William Tritapoe received 89 votes to win a four-year term, and Gross and Chambers tied for the second spot.

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Mark Smith finished with 47 votes.

Gross described himself Wednesday as a "councilman in limbo."

"I guess as an older person I'm still making history," Gross, 70, said.

The recount is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the community center at Shafer Park, Kendall said.

Gross said he doubts a recount will find any errors were made, but it is the first step in resolving the tie vote.

If the recount does not change the results, the Boonsboro Town Council will be asked at its June 7 meeting to pass an ordinance calling for a special election between the two candidates, Kendall said.

The town charter has no provision for a tie, he said.

Chambers could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman won his fifth term as mayor in the election. He ran unopposed.

Town Clerk Barbara Rodenhiser and three election registrars initially decided to break the tie with a ballot that had been disqualified because the markings were not clear. The ballot contained votes for both Gross and Chambers and would not have broken the stalemate.

Eight other ballots were disqualified by Rodenhiser.

Out of an eligible 1,578 residents, 180 people voted, for an 11 percent turnout, Rodenhiser said.

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