Count 'em again Ouimette requests recount in Iron County race


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

VIC OUIMETTE, right, completes the form requesting a recount in Mercer's District 11 county board of supervisors race from county clerk Mike Saari. Ouimette lost the race to John Sendra by four votes.


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Hurley - Victor Ouimette filed papers requesting a recount in the county board election Thursday with Iron County Clerk Michael Saari.

Ouimette lost his seat representing Mercer's District 11 on the county board of supervisors to John Sendra in the April 5 election 109-105.

Ouimette told the Daily Globe following his completion of the paperwork, the close result made a double-check of the vote a sensible option.

"I think that in an election this close, it makes sense to have a recount to remove any potential uncertainty of the outcome," said Ouimette. "Also, it is my legal right to request such a recount."

Not only is Ouimette calling for a recount because of the four-vote difference, it is also a necessary step if he plans to address irregularities in the election.

An unknown number of voters in District 11 received ballots for the District 12 county board race, which had Opal Roberts running unopposed for re-election. Both districts cast their ballots at the same polling place.

"In this particular election, because of the mix-up in ballots between District 11 and District 12, the outcome is tainted and the issue of requesting the court to order a special election - that decision can't be made until after the recount," Ouimette said.

According to Saari, state law requires a recount before Ouimette can appeal to Iron County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Madden, requesting another election. If Madden was convinced the only course of action was a revote, he could order a special election to decide who represents the district on the county board.

The only way a recount could be skipped would be if both Ouimette and Sendra stipulated there were problems in the election that couldn't be resolved by recounting ballots, a step Sendra indicated he wasn't interested in.

If the matter isn't decided by the time the county board is sworn in on Tuesday, county board chairman Joe Pinardi indicated he would leave the seat vacant until a winner is declared.

While a date for the recount hasn't been set, Mercer Town Clerk Christan Brandt said she hopes to hold it some time during the second half of next week.

Brandt also said the cost of the recount, which is paid by the town, depends on how long the process takes, since the workers get paid by the hour.


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