Barre voting machine problems cited in call for recount

by Guy Page

A Barre City Council candidate who lost by eight percent at City Meeting March 2 is contesting the election in Vermont Superior Court.

Brian Judd

Brian Judd asked city officials for a hand recount because two of the voting machines were reportedly rejecting ballots throughout the day. The request was denied.

Judd (209) lost the Ward 2 two-year seat to Teddy Waszazak (247). As he campaigned outside, more than 30 people approached him to say the voting machines had rejected the ballots one or more times before finally being accepted.

Noting the problem with machines, Judd said “there’s something possibly wrong here. I think it deserves further attention.”

When he brought the voting machine problem to city officials and requested a hand recount, he was told recounts only are permitted if the difference between winner and loser is five percent or less. Judd officially lost by about eight percent. In either case only a machine recount would have been conducted.

“That makes no sense,” Judd told Vermont Daily today. “Why would I go head and want a machine count done again, with the same machines, after having a problem with those machines all day long?”

“There’s something physically wrong with these machines, that they would reject a person’s ballot one to three times – and that that scenario would repeat itself during a 12 hour period over 30 times, that I know of.”

Judd offered to pay for the hand recount by the Board of Civil Authority. “No, that’s not an option. The only way a recount could be considered is if you took up a legal challenge of the election results in court,” City Clerk Carol Dawes said in a March 5 email.

The complaint was filed March 17. Friday, March 26 the City of Barre was served with a summons of the complaint.

5 replies »

  1. Get rid of all machines….paper ballot then hand count on the spot….mail ins for the military…those in prison or long term care. Otherwise show up in person… With proof u are a resident of your state. Vote. Keep it simple so cheating will be hard.

  2. As a former Justice of the Peace, for Barre City, I believe if we continue to use ballot machines we should randomly (totally random by drawing from a hat after the polls close) select one race and hand count it and do this process each election. Too many questions about the machines have surfaced nationwide. And YES my ballot was kicked back several times too.

  3. I cast the very first ballot in Rockingham. The machine spit back the ballot twice before accepting it.

  4. Brian Judd, you’d have my vote if I lived in Barre. These matters need investigating. How many didn’t come to report machine rejects to you? If the machines aren’t doing the job right – time to use a hand ballot count.

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