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 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.