No change in Bessemer election recount


November 28, 2017

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

THE HANDS of Jennifer Jacobson in the foreground and Mandy Lake away from the camera, place tick marks next the names of the candidates as they are called out.


Bessemer - Louis Miskovich sought a recount in the Nov. 7 city council write-in election in Bessemer after the results that originally had Miskovich in and Terry Kryshak out, was found to be in error and Kryshak was in and Miskovich was out. With the vote tally's adjusted, Miskovich was left sitting two votes behind Linda Nelson for the fifth and final seat on the council, so he paid the $175 fee and requested a recount.

On Monday the box with the ballots was carried into the basement of the courthouse in Bessemer where the Board of Canvassers gathered to certify the recount. Gerry Pelissero, county clerk, "assembled the best" he could muster from the area, outside of Bessemer's Precinct 1, to conduct the official recount and settle the matter once and for all.

The first order of business was ensuring the ballot box was properly sealed and has not been tampered with since the Nov. 7 election. Pelissero reviewed the seal number in the paperwork, which was 46913 and then confirmed the seal on the box was the same. Next the three canvassers, Geri Burt, Liz Sweeney, and Alberta Quellette confirmed the serial number and Pelissero opened the box. Standing in the room Monday, it felt similar to Geraldo opening up Al Capone's vault in 1986, only this time the expected ballots were found inside, instead of a huge disappointment.

Pelissero explained to Karen Gollan, Mandy Lake, Joy Pelissero, and Jennifer Jacobson how they were to handle the ballots, comparing them against the possible spellings identified on election night and previously certified by the Board of Canvassers. The four were to pair off with two reading off the names and two adding up the votes in a methodical process under the watchful gaze of Miskovich, the Globe, the canvassers, Pelissero, and Bill McDonald.

The four vote counters verified their were 507 ballots and began the process of confirming or denying the results of the election. The voters of Bessemer were not only required to write in the candidates they wanted to vote for, they also had to fill in the corresponding oval next to the written name for the vote to count. There were a handful of voters that did not follow directions, writing their candidates names outside of the required box or not filling in the oval next to the names they wrote down and those votes were uncounted.

With the final tally done, the results are nearly identical: Adam Zak 310, Allen Archie 285, Terry Kryshak 276, Rob Coleman 267, Linda Nelson 237, Louis Miskovich 234, Bill McDonald 149, Jim Slagerman 88, Richard Duncanson 85, James Prezkop 83, and Susanne Brown with 79 votes. Miskovich lost one vote against Nelson, finishing three votes out of the fifth chair.

All told, Zak gained 1 vote, Archie lost 5, Kryshak gained 3, Coleman gained 2, Nelson stayed the same, Miskovich lost 1, McDonald stayed the same, Prezkop lost 5, Slagerman gained 3, Duncanson lost 2, and Brown's number stayed the same. Bessemer say hello to your new city council, the same as your old one.


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