Barnard halts recount12/18/08

New tally confirms defeat

Dec. 18, 2008

By Greg Elias

Observer staff

State Senate candidate Denise Barnard called off the recount she had requested after a tally of Burlington ballots only increased her margin of defeat.

 

Denise Barnard

 

Tim Ashe

Barnard gained 14 votes in the recount. But her opponent for the sixth and final seat in the Chittenden County delegation, Tim Ashe, gained 24 votes. The original margin of victory for Ashe was 417 votes.

Roughly 21,000 ballots were counted in the seven-day effort ending on Dec. 11.

Barnard told WCAX-TV that she really only wanted to check the Burlington vote, a fraction of all the ballots cast in Chittenden County. When those votes were tallied, she said she asked for the recount to be stopped to save money.

Barnard thought she won the seat until a recording error in one Burlington ward was discovered on election night, handing the victory to Ashe instead.

Chittenden County Clerk Diane Lavallee was still adding up the recount’s cost last Friday. The dozens of representatives from each party who conducted the recount were paid $30 a day plus expenses.

Barnard, a Democrat from Richmond, gave up her House seat to run for the Senate. Ashe is a former Burlington City Council member who ran as both a Progressive and a Democrat.

The other candidates elected to represent Chittenden County were all incumbents.