Problems Crop Up at Primary

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A Close Count Recount was scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, August 18 in the Middle School Gym. 

Due to a close vote for the office of Republican Representative in Congress 2nd District an automatic recount was ordered. The district vote totals were Gilmer 9,225 and Anderson 9,199.

There were several problems that cropped up during the election process.

Absentee ballot issues causing voters to be disenfranchised.

 Eligible voters who requested absentee ballots numbered 1,432. Only 944 were returned.Only 63% of our requested absentee ballots were counted.

A breakdown of information shows 66% of the absentee ballots were received on time by Town Clerk. Three percent of these ballots were rejected due to the following: the signature was missing on inner envelope, the ballot was not in the inner envelope or there was no inner envelope. Seven percent of the requested absentee ballots were received by Town Clerk late, as of Friday, and 28% of the requested absentee ballots have not been received by the Town Clerk yet.

We have received many calls from voters claiming to have not received their ballots yet.

Thursday’s (8/13) mail delivery consisted of almost 100 absentee ballots. These ballots were not counted because they were, first, not post marked, then postal deliverer post marked them 8/13 which was really the delivery date. ζ

Editor’s note: The due date for taking absentee ballots by mail was extended to August 13, but the envelope had to be postmarked by August 11. According to the Town Clerk’s office, the storm also caused delays in delivery when mail from the Hartford station, which was affected, was routed through Westchester, N.Y.

Concerns about the ballot wording which did not include Covid-19 as a reason to vote absentee, created confusion and some people didn’t sign the ballots because that reason was left off the ballot even though the legislature had given permission to use Covid as an excuse.

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