August 22, 2011
The third and final Democratic nominee for Charlottesville City Council remains DeDe Smith following a re-tallying of the votes requested by candidate Paul Beyer.
Out of more than 2,500 ballots cast, Beyer lost to Smith by just 31 votes. On Sunday, he requested a second look at the votes in the Democratic Firehouse Primary. On Monday, election officials recounted more than 2,300 ballots.
The results were unchanged.
"[The margin] was 31 votes on Saturday and it remained 31 [after the recount]," said Democratic Party Co-chair Jim Nix.
Beyer requested the vote tallying follow the procedures he says were mutually established prior to the caucus. That included an examination of the approximately 200 disputed ballots flagged for disqualification and a recount of the fifth and final round of the nomination process.
Although the outcome was not what he had hoped, Beyer says the recount was important. Nix agrees.
"This was worth doing. We had to make sure that the candidates and also the Democrats and in fact all of the citizens of Charlottesville were convinced of the integrity of our process," he explained.
Six counters re-tallied the ballots for the last round of voting, looking only at Smith and Beyer.
"We triple-checked every single ballot. There was not room for error because there was room for error before and this truly validated it," said a disappointed but satisfied Beyer.
With the candidate and the counters pleased with the process, Beyer says he's looking forward.
"I just want to offer congratulations to DeDe and to [Satyendra] Huja and [Kathy] Galvin. They are all terrific candidates, and I look forward to supporting them in November," he said.
There are currently five independent candidates - Bob Fenwick, Scott Bandy, Paul Long, Andrew Williams, Brandon Collins - who will compete with Huja, Smith and Galvin for the three City Council seats up for grabs.
The general election will be Nov. 8.