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Nineteen recounts requested, process to begin next week

Last modified: 11/8/2014 1:14:09 AM
Nineteen New Hampshire races could have different outcomes than were announced following Tuesday’s election. The recount process for the requests filed by yesterday’s 5 p.m. deadline will begin Wednesday.

Only one of the recounts is for a state Senate race; the remaining 18 are for state representative races.

Yesterday afternoon, the secretary of state’s office scheduled the recount times and was assembling groups to count the ballots.

“The secretary of state is responsible for coming up with counting teams,” said David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state.

“They will be members of permanent staff here and part-time help,” he said, noting that the office has a pool of individuals who assist with recounts when needed.

The one state Senate recount is for District 7, which includes Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Gilford, Laconia, Northfield, Salisbury and Webster. Incumbent Andrew Hosmer, a Democrat, defeated Kathy Lauer-Rago by 132 votes, a difference of less than 1 percent.

Three state representative races – Merrimack County District 9, Cheshire County District 12 and Rockingham County District 21 – are tied.

“It’s not unusual for there to be one, but three is certainly unique,” Scanlan said. “I can’t recall three ties in a given election.”

The Merrimack County tie is between Republican Michael Moffett and Democrat George Saunderson; each candidate received 1,479 votes in Tuesday’s election. Howard Moffett, a Democrat, was elected to the first seat in the district.

The recounts for the three tied races will be completed by early Friday afternoon. If the races are still tied after the recount, the process continues.

“If there is still a dispute after a recount, the candidates can appeal to the Ballot Law Commission,” Scanlan said. The commission will meet Nov. 24, he said. The commission is comprised of five appointed members who represent various political parties and is authorized to hear and determine appeals from recounts.

In addition to the Moffett-Saunderson tie, four of the state representative recounts are for races in Merrimack County: Districts 2, 4, 6 and 26.

In District 2, Democratic incumbent Scott Burns received just one fewer vote than Republican Harold French for one of two seats.

District 4, which represents Sutton and Wilmot, has only one seat. Republican Douglas Long received 876 votes to Democrat Tom Schamberg’s 758.

Republican Mark Lindsley is just 19 votes (1,215) behind Democratic incumbent Geoffrey Hirsch (1,224) for the second seat in District 6, which represents Bradford and Henniker. Democrat Barbara French was re-elected with 1,302 votes.

District 26, a floterial district, represents Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin Ward 3, Loudon and Northfield. Democrat Lorrie Cary received 3,185 to Republican Jason Parent’s 3,272.

The recounts are set to take place from Wednesday through Friday at the State Archives and the Legislative Office Building. All of the requested recounts have been scheduled except for two Hillsborough County state representative races: District 18 (Nashua Ward 1) and District 34 (Nashua Ward 7).

(Susan Doucet can be reached at 369-3309, sdoucet@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @susan_doucet.)


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