Thursday, November 6, 2003
Susan Dellinger maintained a four-vote lead over incumbent Bud Romberg in the City Council District 1 election after provisional ballots were verified and counted Thursday. Because the margin was less than 0.5 percent, state law requires that all ballots cast in the race be recounted before an official winner could be declared.
Fifteen of 39 provisional ballots verified and counted by the Routt County Clerk's Office on Thursday included votes for the City Council District 1 races. After all 15 were verified, Dellinger led Romberg 1,256 to 1,252.
Before the provisional ballots -- ballots submitted by voters who did not produce valid identification at the polls or whose names did not show up on file at the polls -- were submitted, Dellinger was ahead of Romberg by five votes, 1,249 to 1,244. Of the 15 provisional ballots from the city, seven were for Dellinger, and eight were for Romberg.
The state-mandated recount will be held at 10 a.m. today in the Routt County Personnel Office.
Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland said the counting machines are "extremely accurate," and that she does not think the recount will change the final outcome of the election.
"We've tested and retested those machines several times prior to counting the votes," Weinland said. "Also, the manufacturers of those machines have to test them several times before they can even be used in Colorado."
Weinland has worked for Routt County for 15 years and has been county clerk for nine years. She has conducted multiple recounts in that time, but never for a race this close, she said.
"We have to (recount) because it is so close," she said. "I'm confident the results will end up the same, but we have to do it. It's for peace of mind."