In the wake of a sometimes contentious election, one thing Eastonites of all persuasions agree on: The town did not want inconclusive results.
At this time, the recanvass will be for the offices of Selectman and Board of Finance (To Fill a Vacancy for Two Years). The recanvass will review the machine vote and absentee vote for the offices specified and no others, according to Town Clerk Christine Halloran.
“For the office of Board of Finance (Full Term), I received a waiver from the ‘defeated candidate receiving the next highest number of votes’ (Ira Kaplan) who, in fact, is not a defeated candidate due to the multiple opening office,” Halloran said. “Per the Recanvass Procedure Manual, this office will then not be subject to the recanvass despite the close vote. Thus, both of the two highest vote candidates for Board of Finance (Jackie Olschan Kaufman and Ira Kaplan) are winners of the seats for the office.”
Two races were close enough to warrant a recount. The races being reviewed at the recount are for the Board of Selectmen seat–Bob Lessler (D) vs. Jeff Parker (R)–and Board of Finance seat, Art Laske (D) vs. Wendy Bowditch (R). All of the other races have been determined, according to registrar David Smith.
The recount is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9 at noon in the library community room, according to Smith. It will continue until the results are recounted. The public is permitted to observe.
Bromer said he was surprised by the turnout, in comparison with recent years and supplied the following statistics:
- 2021 55% turnout.
- 2019 49.5%
- 2017 22.7%
- 2015 23.4%
- 2013 45.42%
Unofficial election results are posted here: Bindelglass Wins Second Term as First Selectman.
David Bindelglass, whose victory for a second term as first selectman is uncontested, is expected to be sworn into office later this week.
Only two votes separate Board of Finance candidates Wendy Bowditch, a Republican, and Art Laske, a Democrat, who is favored for a two-year seat to fill a vacancy on the Board of Finance. If Laske retains his victory, the ratio will change from four Republicans and two Democrats to a three to three balance.
In the Board of Selectmen’s race, Jeff Parker and Bob Lessler are 11 votes apart in Lessler’s favor for the third selectman seat. Parker ran for first selectman and Lessler ran for selectman.
The following section from Connecticut’s General Statutes includes a detailed explanation of the election procedures:
Sec. 9-188. First selectman and selectmen. Election procedure. Dual candidacy prohibited. Minority representation; restricted voting. Tie vote. Unless otherwise provided by law each town shall, at its regular municipal election, elect a first selectman, who shall be town agent unless otherwise provided by law, and two other selectmen or, in the case of any town having a population of ten thousand or more, not more than six other selectmen. The selectmen so elected shall constitute the board of selectmen for such town. Unless otherwise provided by special act, charter or ordinance the votes cast, including any valid write-in votes, for an unsuccessful candidate for first selectman shall be counted as votes for him as a member of such board, provided no elector may be a candidate for both the office of first selectman and that of selectman by virtue of nomination by a major or minor party or a nominating petition or registration of write-in candidacy, or any combination thereof. The provisions of section 9-167a shall apply to the election of selectmen, except that when the total membership of such board is five, the maximum number who may be members of the same political party shall be three, and provided that for the purpose of determining minority representation, the total membership of such board shall be deemed to include the first selectman, unless otherwise provided by special act or charter. Unless otherwise provided by special act, charter or ordinance, an elector shall not vote for more candidates for the office of selectman than a political party can elect pursuant to section 9-167a, provided that the number of such candidates that an elector can vote for shall be deemed to include the first selectman. If the electors fail to elect a first selectman at any election by reason of an equality of votes, such election for the office of first selectman and the election for selectmen shall stand adjourned and such adjourned election shall be held as provided in section 9-332. The ballots used in such adjourned election shall contain only the names of the candidates for the offices of first selectman and selectman which appeared on the ballot used in the election at which the tie vote resulted for the office of first selectman.
Should the recount revise the results of the Board of Selectmen race, Parker would be seated as a selectman, changing the composition of the Board of Selectmen to one Democrat—First Selectman David Bindelglass—and two Republican selectmen, Parker and second place overall finisher Kristi Sogofsky.
Photo at top: Election officials huddled on stage at the Samuel Staples Elementary School Cafetorium Nov. 2, prior to announcing the unofficial results.—Maira Zegarelli Photo