The Wellington council candidates wrongly named winners during last week’s election aren’t convinced Monday’s vote retabulation was accurate, nor will they give up their seats to the apparent winners. But the winners, whom Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said were denied victory because of a software glitch, have no doubt Monday’s count was correct, and one has taken legal action. “It’s my responsibility to make sure the village of Wellington voters are heard. I’m filing it on their behalf,” said Vice Mayor Matt Willhite, who filed a complaint Tuesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against Wellington’s canvassing board and whose campaign declared him a “decisive” winner. The county elections office mistakenly named candidates Al Paglia and Shauna Hostetler winners in two council races and certified the March 13 results to the state on Friday. But a routine audit on Monday revealed that Willhite had easily defeated Paglia, while John Greene had edged past Hostetler. On Tuesday, the Wellington canvassing board that oversees election results tossed out the March 13 numbers and scheduled a meeting March 27 to decide whether to certify Monday’s retabulated numbers instead. But confusion and emotion were running high on Tuesday.
… The vote mix-up happened because computers supplied by Dominion Voting Systems attributed vote totals to the wrong candidates, Bucher said. There was a dispute over whether Monday’s tabulation qualifies as a recount. Hostetler and Paglia both said Tuesday. Both they would prefer a recount by hand.
“I’m not confident in the way it was counted, and it’s not because of, ‘Oh, I won,” Hostetler said. “I think the people deserve a better explanation and so do the candidates.” State elections officials should conduct an audit, Paglia said. “At this point it’s too confusing for me to congratulate Matt or for Matt to congratulate me,” he said.