A recount is conducted Friday, June 17, which determined Mike Wells was the winner of Tuesday’s Select Board race in Wilton. Cherieann Harrison, at left, requested the recount after results showed she had lost by just one vote. Seated from left, Harrison watches as Utility Clerk Michelle Howatt and Planning Board member Gwen Doak recount the ballots, overseen by Town Clerk Heather Harris, standing. Kay Neufeld/Franklin Journal

WILTON — Following a one-vote margin, a recount determined Mike Wells was the winner in Wilton’s Select Board race Friday, June 17.

In the first count conducted following the Tuesday, June 14, election, Wells won with 190 votes to challengers Cherieann Harrison’s 189 and Evret Greer’s 45.

The recount Friday morning upheld those results. But there were complications with one additional ballot that had an invalid mark voting for Wells which would have brought his tally to 191.

Utility Clerk Michelle Howatt and Planning Board member Gwendolyn Doak conducted the recount as service clerks.

They questioned whether intent was there to vote for Wells due to a stray mark that was neither an asterisk nor an “x.”

Unable to say with certainty that the ballot was valid, Town Clerk Heather Harris said the ballot would be sent to the Superior Court for determination.

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However in an email following the recount, Harris said “the consensus for the ballot in question did not affect the race and was not counted.”

Wells now “can be sworn in any time,” Harris said.

In response to the recount, Harrison, who attended the recount, said she trusts the process and election clerks.

“Witnessing the ballot recount enabled me to see the numerous ballots that went unmarked,” Harrison said. “That shows me there is a great opportunity and necessity to do further outreach to those voters in the future.”

“I know we have a good group on the board,” she added. “I wish the best for the selectmen in the future.”

Wilton’s last recount was held in 2013, following Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri’s first election when she won with just seven more votes than Raymond Legasse.

Retiring Selectperson Tom Saviello said this vote highlights the importance of getting out and voting.

“It sends a message to everyone: Vote! One vote, that’s what it is,” Saviello said. “When you say ‘my vote doesn’t matter,’ yes it does – votes count. Always show up because those who show up have a say.”


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