RANGELEY – Voters will go to the polls on Monday in a run-off election after a tie vote of 136 to 136 for a selectman seat was discovered in a recount held on June 19.
Two incumbents, Dennis Marquis and Robert Welch and candidate Gary Shaffer ran for two, three-year selectmen terms. Initial election results were Marquis with 146 votes, Welch with 136 and Shaffer with 135 votes. At the annual town meeting on June 12, Marquis and Welch were declared elected without the vote count being announced.
The next day, Shaffer challenged the close outcome and asked for a recount. Shaffer said he disputed one ballot in particular that had been cast with check marks next to all three candidates’ names. Only two of the three candidates could be chosen on each ballot.
“The other two candidates were counted but my name was not counted,” Shaffer said earlier, adding, either the ballot should have been voided or all three candidates given one vote. Either way leads to a tie with Welch, he said.
It turns out he was right.
Attending the recount were three selectmen, Donald Nuttall, James Stone and Marquis. Shaffer was allowed to sit next to Town Clerk Tiki White and watch the recount. Welch did not attend it. White declared the vote a tie.
Shaffer said he welcomes the revote to settle the matter because, “In the interest of the public, it would be the most fair thing to do.”
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.