Boonsboro recount does not break tie

another vote likely

May 19, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

BOONSBORO - A public recount to determine the winner of the second of two Boonsboro Town Council seats came and went Tuesday night with the same outcome - 87 votes each for incumbents Richard Gross and Kevin Chambers.

The town attorney said the council likely will approve an ordinance to set up what is believed will be the town's first run-off election, to be held in late June at the earliest.

Town Clerk Barbara Rodenhiser and three election registrars recounted votes cast by 180 residents during the mayoral and council election on May 10. Although the group did find a discrepancy with two votes, that did not effect the number garnered by Gross, 70, or Chambers, 43.


The recount determined that council member-elect William Tritapoe was credited with one vote too many, and his tally was adjusted to 88 votes. Fourth-place finisher Mark Smith's final tally was adjusted to 48 votes, one more than originally logged.

Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman, who won his fifth term as mayor last week, said the council likely would vote on an emergency ordinance establishing the official process for the run-off at the June 7 council meeting. He said the town would be required to wait at least two weeks before holding the run-off election, because it would have to be advertised.

"It's a really unique situation we're in here. We'll work through it," Kauffman said.

Town Attorney William C. Wantz said the town charter does not have provisions for run-off elections or for which council members would have voting power until a disputed election is resolved.

Wantz said the run-off likely would be held in late June.

Chambers said he was thankful for the people who voted for him and hopes more will come out to vote at the run-off, no matter which candidate they support.

"The important thing is to get as many people to vote as possible," Chambers said. "I think the tie would have been avoided if more people voted."

Eleven percent of the eligible 1,578 residents voted last week.

Gross said he did not believe a mistake would be found during Tuesday's recount, and thought he'd be hitting the campaign trail again this week.

"I'll be getting the signs back out," Gross said. "I kept them neatly in a box and got the stakes here."

In the meantime, Gross is just reveling in the notion that being part of the first known election tie means he is "a part of town history."

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