Final election tallies released
Nov. 13, 2008
By Greg Elias
Official election results released Monday provided the last word on an evolving state Senate contest but left other races unchanged.
The Vermont Secretary of State’s office reported canvassing committee tallies that represent the final count in the Nov. 4 election.
The numbers, posted on the Secretary of State’s Web site, confirm what has already been reported by other local media outlets: Tim Ashe of Burlington beat Denise Barnard of Richmond for the sixth and final seat representing Chittenden County in the Vermont Senate.
Relying on information from other media outlets on Election Day and the following morning, the Williston Observer reported that Barnard had finished ahead of Ashe. But those results did not include the final vote total from Burlington.
That tally, which was corrected the day after the election to reflect an error in the initial count, pushed Ashe ahead of Barnard. The official countywide total shows Ashe finished with a 417-vote margin of victory.
“I went to bed thinking that I lost,” said Ashe, a Burlington City Council member. “I had been surprised I didn’t show more strongly in Burlington.”
Ashe visited City Hall the following day to get the ward-by-ward results. By then, he said, officials were already double-checking ward totals. Shortly afterwards, they discovered that one ward’s tally for Ashe was entered as 157 when the actual total was 1,577.
Efforts to confirm Ashe’s account of the vote-counting snafu were unsuccessful. Elections Director Ben Pacy referred questions to Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold, who did not return telephone messages.
Sue Alenick, Burlington’s Ward 1 captain, said she had no direct knowledge of errors in the citywide count. But she did confirm that Burlington disclosed its results much later than other Chittenden County municipalities, which may have also skewed Senate race tallies reported by the Observer.
The Secretary of State’s office had insisted no totals be released until all absentee and write-in votes were counted, Alenick said.
“City Hall has taken a bum rap on this,” she said. “They were just doing what they were supposed to do.”
Barnard said she met with representatives from the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday to discuss her options. She said she will decide whether to seek a recount after talking with advisors.
Requests for recounts must be filed by Friday, according to Chittenden County Clerk Diane Lavallee.
There were 14 candidates vying for Chittenden County’s six seats in the state Senate.
Doug Racine of Richmond finished first in the race with 44,850 votes. The others selected by voters were Ed Flanagan of Burlington with 38,991 votes, Ginny Lyons of Williston with 35,863, Diane Snelling with 32,391, Hinda Miller with 31,453 and Ashe with 28,098. Barnard received 27,681 votes.
Four of the successful candidates are Democrats. Snelling is a Republican and Ashe is a “fusion” candidate who ran as both a Democrat and a Progressive.
In Williston, there were small differences between the unofficial tallies reported last week and the final totals. But none of the changes were large enough to affect any contest.
In all, 5,265 ballots were cast. That amounts to 71.4 percent of all registered voters in Williston.
A record-setting 2,371 residents cast absentee and early ballots, which was 45 percent of all votes in Williston and more than double the previous record for balloting before Election Day.
As usual, there were a handful of quirky write-in votes. Seven Williston residents voted for Hillary Clinton for president. Write-ins for state Senate included John McCain and Bernie Sanders.
There were also write-in votes for cartoon characters such as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, said Williston Town Clerk Deb Beckett. Those kind of votes are the perpetual bane of election official because they slow the count.
“It just adds a lot of work to our already busy and long day,” Beckett said.
CANDIDATE WILLISTON STATE/COUNTY
John McCain (R) 1,645 98,974
Barack Obama (D) 3,507 219,262
Peter Welch (D)* 4,151 248,203
Thomas Hermann (P) 99 9,081
Jim Douglas (R)* 3,155 170,492
Anthony Pollina (I) 986 69,791
Gaye Symington (D) 980 69,534
Thomas Costello (D) 1,631 121,953
Brian Dubie (R)* 3,246 171,744
Richard Kemp (P) 182 14,249
Don Schramm (P) 277 22,811
Jeb Spaulding (D, R)* 4,419 267,338
Secretary of State
Eugene Bifano (R) 1,216 70,114
Deb Markowitz (D)* 3,465 214,197
Marjorie Power (P) 155 13,856
Auditor of Accounts
Martha Abbott (P) 513 35,232
Thomas Salmon (D, R)* 3,984 241,825
Charlotte Dennett (P) 188 17,730
Karen Kerin (R) 762 55,268
William Sorrell (D)* 3,763 214,980
Darren Adams (R) 1,319 15,892
Tim Ashe (D) 1,608 28,098
Denise Barnard (D) 1,689 27,681
Dennis Benard (R) 1,428 16,758
Agnes Clift (R) 1,181 14,190
Ed Flanagan (D)* 2,493 38,991
Ginny Lyons (D)* 2,925 35,863
Hinda Miller (D)* 1,927 31,453
Robyn Myers-Moore (R) 1,243 15,028
Doug Racine (D)* 3,014 44,850
Diane Snelling (R)* 2,790 32,391
Paula Spadaccini (R) 1,377 15,110
Brennan Duffy (R) 1,827
Terry Macaig (D) 2,476
Jim McCullough (D)* 3,098
Shelly Palmer (R) 1,333
Williston charter changes
Justice of the Peace
(Top 15 are elected)
Deb Beckett (R) 2,671
Eileen Blackwood (D) 1,404
Carson Cornbrooks (D) 1,502
Joshua Diamond (D) 1,260
Anne Dickerson (R) 1,169
Brennan Duffy (R) 1,752
George Gerecke (R) 1,492
Herb Goodrich (R) 2,098
Andrew Guernsey (R) 939
Meg Hart-Smith (D) 1,767
James Haug (R) 973
Jeanne Jensen (D) 1,740
Ted Kenney (D) 1,869
Tony Lamb (D) 2,123
Ginny Lyons (D) 2,678
Terry Macaig (D) 2,175
Brooks Mcarthur (D) 1,047
Patrice Maloney (R) 1,101
Jake Mathon (R) 900
Jim McCullough (D) 2,825
Andy Mikell (D) 2,034
Ginger Morton (R) 1,535
Shelley Palmer (R) 1,360
Kip Roberson (D) 997
Ben Rose (D) 1,801
Chris Roy (R) 1,601
Bill Skiff (R) 1,826
Carter Smith (D) 1,825
Ruth Stokes (R) 1,776
Karol Tymecki (R) 1,128
Note: Due to space limitations, independent and some third-party candidates are omitted from this list.
* Denotes incumbent