By Guy Page
Brian Judd, who is contesting the Barre City Council election he officially lost at City Meeting March 2, tomorrow will seek a court injunction to prevent the City from throwing out the paper ballots after the 90-day deadline expires, he said today.
Judd (209 votes) 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. asked city officials for a hand recount because two of the voting machines were reportedly rejecting ballots throughout the day. The request was denied. March 17 he filed suit to contest the election in Vermont Superior Court.
By law the City must keep the paper ballots for 90 days after the election. If the City tosses the ballots on June 1, there would be no way to crosscheck the ballot machine totals with a hand recount. Judd’s request for a hand recount has been denied, even though he’s offered to pay for it.
Judd isn’t alleging wrongdoing on March 2, nor does he insist he won. But he’s convinced the problem with the machines happened. He wants to know if it affected the outcome.
“The one and only true way to find out that these machines counted the ballots correctly is to count the paper ballots and compare with what the machines counted,” he told Vermont Daily today. “Just because these voting machines accepted these ballots doesn’t mean they counted them.”
“We should want consistency and we should want transparency. And this is the only way – to count the paper ballots and compare that count with the machine count,” Judd said.
“We’re seeing an example of that right now in Windham NH. They did a machine count and they did a hand count and because of the discrepancies between the hand count and the machine count they then called for a forensic audit of the paper ballots,” Judd said. The Windham hand count shows 200 more votes for three Republican candidates and about 125 less for a Democrat.
Although Barre City sought to dismiss the suit. Judge Robert Bent declined, saying the City needs to be represented in his court by an attorney, not just the City Clerk. A hearing has been set for May 27.