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Town offers recount compromise

Town council decided Monday to offer a compromise in what was beginning to look like a recount stalemate.

The town will ask Bill Brunton to agree to a joint court application for a consent order for a recount using the vote tabulator machine but allow contested ballots to be manually examined.

If the judge agrees, a second recount could take place as early as next Tuesday, said clerk Carolyn Kett.

After nearly two months of waiting for Bill Brunton to submit evidence to support his application for a manual recount of the mayoral election, council decided in closed session to offer the compromise.

Doug Martin was declared the winner by four votes over former councillor Ann-Marie Noyes on election night Oct. 25. A recount gave Martin an additional vote.

Brunton filed an application in Superior Court for the manual recountwhich was rejected in November, but Justice Theresa Maddelena allowed him the opportunity to submit further evidence..

Applications for recounts are normally filed by a candidate. Although expenses incurred are not counted as election expenses, contributions for the legal challenge are subject to stringent rules about who can contribute and how much if filed by the candidate. The same is not so with a third-party application, and Brunton has been soliciting funds to pay the legal expenses.

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