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November 7, 2013

Ryan mulls recount

SALEM — Jerry Ryan came onto the City Council with a vote recount, and he may be going off the board with a recount, too.

Ryan, Salem’s Ward 4 councilor since 2008, said he’s considering asking for a recount of yesterday’s councilor-at-large ballots.

Ryan came in fifth out of seven candidates running for four at-large spots. According to the city clerk’s unofficial election totals Tuesday night, he trailed the fourth-place finisher, Councilor William Legault, by 28 votes.

In the fall of 2007, Ryan was elected over Chuck Barton by 23 votes, a margin that bumped to 29 after ballots were recounted three weeks after the election. Barton had requested the recount after hearing accounts of voting machines jamming on election day.

Yesterday’s Ward 6 race was even closer than the at-large race: Newcomer Beth Gerard ousted incumbent Paul Prevey by just 17 votes. In that race, five ballots had write-in candidates and 45 were left blank.

The city clerk’s office won’t have official election results for another day or two, possibly tomorrow or Monday. Candidates have until Friday, Nov. 15, to request a recount.

No candidates had requested a vote recount yesterday, according to the city clerk’s office. Prevey could not be reached for comment.

Ryan said he’ll wait until the results are official before deciding whether to seek a recount. Yesterday, Ryan said he called the city clerk’s office and was told that a preliminary look at the ballots indicated the vote may be even closer than 28 votes.

“It’s just so close I think it begs to have a recount,” Ryan said. “Just to make sure. I owe it to the people who voted for me to make sure, and we’ll go from there. ... If results stay the same, I’ll still be active (in the city).”

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