Joey Brunelle, the narrowly unsuccessful candidate who tried to unseat Councilor Nick Mavadones, sent a letter to the city clerk today. In that letter he asked for a partial recount on the election of three precincts in the at-large election earlier this week. The three precincts are 4-1, 5-1 and 5-2.
Joey, a resident of Munjoy Hill, emphasized that the request for a recount in three precincts is not about the outcome of the election two days ago, but about making sure that Portland voters have confidence in the electoral process here. “Voting is the most sacred ritual of our republic…” Joey wrote.
“Due to the high turnout and machine malfunctions, there were precincts that took an unusual amount of time to process their ballots, with results not called until after 4:00 am in some cases. Many ballots in the thousands were not tabulated in the presence of voters, but were instead processed by poll workers after polls closed. This could have introduced opportunities for human error, or for some ballots to be discarded since the voter was not present to correct mistakes. My campaign sent observers to two of these precincts (5.1 and 5.2) after 3:00 am in order to figure out what was happening and we were turned away at one location (5-2),” Brunelle wrote.
Brunelle, a Maine native and a graduate of Brown University, went on to explain that since there may be a cost involved in the recount, he would like to be informed of that amount so his campaign can decided whether or not to proceed on that path.
Lastly, Brunelle inquired as to whether or not the Secretary of State has provided enough vote tabulation machines to avoid long lines that discourage voting? Are there enough volunteers and staff to work the polls to keep voting moving swiftly and efficiently? Are there sufficient procedures for when things go wrong? These are some of the questions Joey posed in the letter dated November 8, 2018.
“The turnout on Tuesday should be seen as a victory for democracy, no matter which candidate you supported,” Joey Brunelle ended his letter to the city clerk. He lost to Mavadones by 714 votes.
Note: Apparently there were not enough staff or volunteers to accommodate the heavy turnout on Tuesday, November 6th. This blogger has reported previously herein that an “SOS” email went out to employees at city hall that if they had some spare time, it would be appreciated it they could assist the election crew in processing the ballots on election day.