UPDATE: Registrars of Voters Announces One of 230 RTM Results Change Due to Typo

UPDATE: The Registrars of Voters said in an email on Thursday,Nov 16, that: On election night, Andrew Walsh, D12, had been listed as a winner in preliminary results for RTM, but in the review of the results conducted after every election by the Town Clerk and Registrar of Voters, it was determined he had not won because someone typed that he had 83 absentee ballots, when it should have been 43.

Mr. Walsh was notified on Thursday the 9.  His vote total dropped from 627 votes on the unofficial tally to 587 on the final tally after Monday’s recount.

As a result, Michael D’Angelo won a seat in District 12. His wife Valerie also won a seat in District 12.

Original Story: On Friday the Greenwich Registrars of Voters announced they will hold a recanvass on Monday, Nov 13 in the town hall meeting room for candidates in the RTM in districts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12.

FreDeCaro, the Republican Registrar explained that the recanvasses were triggered because the votes were close, not because anyone requested a recount.

A recanvass is not a recount, but rather a review of the vote totals.

“It is automatic unless waived,” DeCaro said on Friday. “No RTM candidates whose names appeared on the ballot elected to do so.  The only exception was a write-in candidate in District 3.”

The statement the Registrars released on Friday:

On behalf of Sharon Vecchiolla, the Head Moderator for the November 7 Election, notice is hereby given to you pursuant to Sec. 9-311a/Sec. 9-311b of the Connecticut General Statutes, that on Monday the 13th day of November, 2023 at 9 AM a recanvass of the returns of the voting machines, absentee ballots, and write-in ballots used in Greenwich Voting Districts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 in the Election for the office of Representative Town Meeting in the Town of Greenwich on November 7, 2023, will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room at Greenwich Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, Connecticut.

The CT General Statute mentions refers to a candidate received the next highest number of votes having less than 20 votes difference. (Bold added)

Sec. 9-311a. Recanvass on close vote. For purposes of this section, state, district and municipal offices shall be as defined in section 9-372 except that the office of presidential elector shall be deemed a state office. Forthwith after a regular or special election for municipal office, or forthwith upon tabulation of the vote for state and district offices by the Secretary of the State, when at any such election the plurality of an elected candidate for an office over the vote for a defeated candidate receiving the next highest number of votes was either (1) less than a vote equivalent to one-half of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for the office but not more than two thousand votes, or (2) less than twenty votes, there shall be a recanvass of the returns of the voting tabulator or voting tabulators and absentee ballots used in such election for such office unless such defeated candidate or defeated candidates, as the case may be, for such office file a written statement waiving this right to such canvass with the municipal clerk in the case of a municipal office, or with the Secretary of the State in the case of a state or district office. In the case of state and district offices, the Secretary of the State upon tabulation of the votes for such offices shall notify the town clerks in the state or district, as the case may be, of the state and district offices which qualify for an automatic recanvass and shall also notify each candidate for any such office. When a recanvass is to be held the municipal clerk shall promptly notify the moderator, as defined in section 9-311, who shall proceed forthwith to cause a recanvass of such returns of the office in question in the same manner as is provided in said section 9-311. In addition to the notice required under section 9-311, the moderator shall before such recanvass is made give notice in writing of the time when, and place where, such recanvass is to be made to each candidate for a municipal office which qualifies for an automatic recanvass under this section. Nothing in this section shall preclude the right to judicial proceedings on behalf of a candidate under any provision of chapter 149. For the purposes of this section, “the total number of votes cast for the office” means in the case of multiple openings for the same office, the total number of electors checked as having voted in the state, district, municipality or political subdivision, as the case may be. When a recanvass of the returns for an office for which there are multiple openings is required by the provisions of this section, the returns for all candidates for all openings for the office shall be recanvassed. No one other than a recanvass official shall take part in the recanvass. If any irregularity in the recanvass procedure is noted by a candidate, he shall be permitted to present evidence of such irregularity in any contest relating to the election.

Prior to the election, the Registrars released a joint statement regarding RTM Close-Vote Recounts?

This statement is being issued jointly by both Registrars of Voters in advance of the municipal election.  It is being made prior to the election so that candidates can be assured that the statement is not directed at any particular winner or loser on Election Day.

The law currently states that any election which has a difference between the winning candidate and the losing candidate of less than one-half of one percent shall automatically require a recount (referred to as a “recanvass” in the statutes).

The recount may be waived by the losing candidate.

However, the law also says that a recount is automatically generated if the difference is less than 20 votes.  In our RTM contests, which only occur in individual districts and where the average candidate only gets 3-400 votes, the vote totals in any contested race almost always have a difference of less than 20 votes.

A recanvass requires recounting (via a tabulator) all of the district’s ballots from an election, including absentee ballots.  It also requires notifying the candidates (which is upwards of 20 candidates in most districts).  Due to time constraints we usually have to hire someone  to personally hand deliver the notification of a canvass.

Typically, the day after the election the Registrars contact the candidates and explain the situation to the RTM candidates.

In recent election cycles, there are more RTM candidates than seats available in multiple districts.  And the average candidate gets about 300 votes.  So a 20 vote difference is more like a 3.33% difference than the statutory .5% difference.  And in the numerous audits conducted in Greenwich and throughout the state, we have not found even the slightest discrepancies as to how the tabulators count the ballots.  In fact, we had a recount in District 6 due to a tie vote, and after the recount it will still a perfect tie.  The possibility of a recount adjusting the outcome of such a high percentage of ballots is extremely unlikely.

As has been our custom, the Registrars will contact the candidates and review the difference in votes between the winning and losing candidate.   Depending on the size of the difference, we may point out that based on our prior experience  it is unlikely a recount will change the outcome.  At this point, it is entirely up to the candidate to decide whether they will take action and waive the recount, or do nothing and allow the recount to occur.  Any candidate who wants to proceed with a recount is well within their rights to do so.  We simply want to point out the uniqueness of an RTM race and how it triggers automatic recounts at a rate far in excess of most elections based on this 20 vote threshold in the state statute.

See also:

Camillo Wins and Carries BET Republicans Across Finish Line; Voting Moms Win the Day on the RTM
Nov 8, 2023