Both Kevin E. Murphy of Dale Drive, North Falmouth, and Paul D. Brodeur of Bacon Farm Road, East Falmouth, will have to wait until Wednesday when a recount of last week’s election will take place to determine who is the fifth and final selectman.
Next Wednesday’s recount will be done by hand, to determine the accuracy of the machines that are used annually during an election. Town Clerk Michael C. Palmer was confident that the results of last week’s election, which had Mr. Murphy ahead of Mr. Brodeur by eight votes, 2,920 to 2,912, will hold up.
“I believe the machines are accurate, and I welcome the opportunity to show how accurate they are and give people confidence in how we operate our elections and are doing things correctly,” he said. “This will certainly show me whether I’m right or wrong in how I feel about the machines.”
… The recount will begin at 9 AM in the selectmen’s meeting room in town hall. Mr. Palmer estimated it should be completed by noon. He will need 18 people to assist on Wednesday, with 12 split evenly between those who read the ballots and those who record the votes. Another six, he said, will act as runners, handling over the ballots, which will be broken up into blocks of 50.
As of now, he said he does not have enough volunteers and may have to hire workers to assist with the recount.
Mr. Palmer said both candidates will be allowed one representative for each election worker, equaling 12 in all. In addition, he said, both Mr. Brodeur and Mr. Murphy can be present along with an attorney. There will be a section set up for the public, roped off to exclude them from the area where the ballots will be counted.
Mr. Brodeur said he has not hired an attorney, opting instead to rely on former state representative Matthew C. Patrick of Waquoit to oversee the recount for his campaign. Mr. Murphy also has no plans to seek counsel, saying he would only do so if Mr. Brodeur did. He, too,will have observers present to represent him on Wednesday.
Both sides have the opportunity to dispute individual ballots. Those would first be brought to the board of registrars for a ruling. Its membership consists of Mr. Palmer; Avis A. Grosslein of Fairway Lane, West Falmouth; Kathleen E. Mortenson of Pin Oak Way, Falmouth; and Charlotte M. Tashiro of Green Pond Road, East Falmouth.