Education Board vote goes to state recount

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— Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland's staff will be taking part today in a statewide recount of ballots cast on Nov. 7. But the Bush and Gore camps won't be tracking the results.
The race in question is the battle for the state Board of Education, in which Democrat Jared Polis was the apparent winner.
The initial count had Polis prevailing over Republican incumbent Ben Alexander on election night by a very narrow margin .157 percent, or 1,211 votes.
Colorado law allows candidates whose losing margin is .5 percent or less to ask for a recount.
Weinland said Polis won the vote in Routt County 4,114 to 3,751 votes for Alexander.
"People think that when there's a recount, something went wrong," Weinland said. "But it's a statutory double check when races are very close. I'm confident in our vote count."
This will mark the first time Weinland has been involved in a recount.
Weinland and her crew won't have to worry about "pregnant chads" when the machine recount begins at 8:30 a.m. today; Routt County doesn't use the punch card that was in use in Florida.
Instead, local voters simply marked their preference by filling in an oval in pencil.
The local election canvassing board will take part in today's recount, as will a designated representative of the Colorado secretary of state.
The Polis camp has promised to have a representative in every county.
Weinland expects the recount to take four to five hours. That is significantly less time than was needed to make the original count.
The county clerk explained that the tedious chore of ruling out "over-votes" and blank ballots won't have to be repeated today.
On election night, that process frequently causes the voter counting machine to stop while it rejects a ballot.

To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail tomross@amigo.net

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