Immediately after Town Meeting adjourned, I sent the Constable and two BCA members into the vault to retrieve the voted ballots, where we had locked them. Our town is so small that we always hand count our ballots. I designated three teams of two to count the votes and mark them on tally sheets. They counted; I brought out some refreshments to keep up the energy and attention levels. A handful of times, one of the counters would call me over to rule on whether a ballot should be counted or marked as spoiled.
Hopeful candidates sat lined up behind a table, observing the proceedings and waiting.
Once all teams were finished counting and notating, we sat around a table. With a summary sheet in hand, I asked for results from each team, for one race at a time, starting with Selectboard Member. In the end, we had no discrepancies, thankfully!
There was only one contested race, for Town Auditor, between George Blakeslee and Dawn Rogers. George Blakeslee defeated Rogers, 49-14. I was thrilled, because I had supported him enthusiastically.
With Barbara Peaslee Smith watching, I put all the election materials in the ballot bag and secured it. The new Town Clerk must save these materials for 90 Days. By the time I’d cleaned up, it was 10:30pm. Edward stayed with me to the end, and then we walked home across the green in the dark. On the way, we ran into George Blakeslee, walking his dog. George was all smiles because of his victory. I’m looking forward to working with him!