September 20, 2018

Commissioner Wilson calls for recount

Posted

MIO — Oscoda County Commissioner Larry Wilson has asked for a recount because he lost to Chuck Varner by fewer than five votes in the recent primary election.

Wilson had to pay $75 to the county in order to qualify for the recount, as there is a state-mandated $25 fee per township. That money will stay with the county. County Clerk Jeri Winton said the fee would have been higher if the vote discrepancy between Varner and Wilson had been greater.

The state has mandated that if the discrepancy is fewer than 50 votes, it costs $25 per township; if it is more than 50 it is $150; and if more than 75 votes, the fee is raised to $250. If after the recount is complete Wilson turns out to be the true winner in any of the townships, he will have his money returned for that township. He would also have his money returned if the county board of canvassers determines that a recount is not possible for a certain township.

The county will be on the hook for any fees associated with the recount. Winton said that includes paying for the county board of canvassers to be present as well as township clerks, election deputies and the chairmen of the township election boards. She said other fees like equipment costs and building rental would be included as well.

Altogether Winton said the recount will cost the county between $500 and $800. She said the money will come entirely out of the county election budget. She said due to the recount, she may need to ask for more money to be placed in her budget in order to pay for the November election. She said when coming up with the election budget in the future, the county may have to start taking the possibility of a recount into consideration.

Winton said she hopes her equipment is as accurate as she thinks it is.

“I really hope this recount shows how accurate these new machines are,” she said. “If you did something wrong on the ballot, it wouldn’t even accept it.”

Winton said the recount shouldn’t take longer than a single day to complete. It will consist of canvassers examining ballot boxes to ensure there was no tampering. If the boxes are deemed acceptable, ballots with be counted into piles of 25 on tables set aside for each township. After that, ballots will be set aside into piles of 25 for each candidate. Winton said each candidate is allowed to be present to watch the recount and ensure everything is done legally.

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