Updated 11:30 p.m. Nov. 14:
A full recount of the ballots from the Nov. 6 election for the 106th Assembly District upheld an election night victory for Republican Mitch Bolinsky, though challenger Democrat Lisa Romano gained three additional votes.
Democratic Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton confirmed Wednesday night that the final count came to 5,757 for Bolinsky and 5,712 for Romano, narrowing the margin from 48 votes to 45 and increasing the total number of votes in the race from 11,448 to 11,469.
Frampton said several ballots were not filled in correctly, preventing the machines from reading them and leading to the fluctuation in the tally.
State Rep.-elect Bolinsky said Wednesday he was glad the numbers held and “very excited about getting to work.”
Bolinsky said he has already begun meeting with constituents and business groups and has set appointments to begin transitioning into the seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Lyddy.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work and getting things done for Newtown.”
Romano released the following statement Wednesday night:
I am glad that the recount proceeded as proscribed by state law. LeReine Frampton ran it with a lot of professionalism and a little humor too. I thank the election workers for returning and doing a great job.
I picked up 3 votes in the recount, but unfortunately that was only one twelfth of what I needed to change the result. The final split was 45 votes in favor of Mr. Bolinsky.
Although the town voted overwhelmingly in favor of Republicans in all the other races, there was virtually no difference in this race. Voters were choosing between two candidates who were fiscally conservative and in favor of streamlining the state government. Economic issues were clearly the overriding concern for voters, and unfortunately for me, many have the bias that a Republican is more likely to shrink government and keep their taxes down. I almost overcame this, through five months of door-to-door campaigning, but not quite.
During the recount, one thing I noticed while the hundreds of ballots passed by was that many Democratic voters filled in their bubbles for President, Senate and Congress, but did not continue, across the space where John McKinney didn't have an opponent, to fill in the bubble next to my name. I'm sure there were also quite a few Republican voters who did not cast a vote in the state representative race. I hope that in the future, voters will take a few moments to look up the candidates and make a choice for their statehouse seat.
While I will be looking for my next challenge, I still hope to have the opportunity to work on issues that the state needs to address, such as education.
Update 10 p.m. Nov. 14:
After reviewing all of the ballots from the Nov. 6 election for the 106th Assembly District, the final tally upheld the election night call for Republican Mitch Bolinsky, though Democrat Lisa Romano gained three additional votes.
The final count of 5,757 for Bolinsky and 5,712 for Romano narrowed the margin from 48 votes to 45.
Newtown’s registrars and poll moderators gathered in Town Hall South Wednesday evening to retabulate the returns in Districts 1, 2 and 3 for the 106th State Assembly race, which saw a narrow 48-vote victory on election night for Republican Mitch Bolinsky over Democrat Lisa Romano, 5,748-5,700.
Poll workers split into three tables (one for each voting district) and set about reviewing each ballot individually in Democrat-Republican pairs. Workers were instructed to analyze only votes cast for the 106th District and look for incompletely or incorrectly filled out ballots, such as check marks or half-filled bubbles.
The recount includes some 15,000 ballots, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton, who said she expected the process to take approximately four hours. The final results are due in to the Secretary of State’s Office by midnight Wednesday.
After seeing the close vote totals on election night, Frampton said the registrars and poll workers “reviewed every scrap of paper from the moderators to see if we could eliminate human error” from the equation, however the margin remained less than 0.5 percent of votes cast, the state threshold for a recount.
“These poll workers worked very hard” on election day and night, Frampton added, noting that despite their individual party affiliations, “all are bipartisan.”
Romano confirmed that she had originally told news outlets that she intended to waive the right to a recount, however after having more time to consider the results she decided to allow it to go forward.
The Democratic candidate said that she looked up the list of new voters registered since Aug. 1 and received some 24 pages of potential voters that might not have been familiar with Newtown’s voting machines.
The final outcome might not change enough to matter, however Romano said she wants to “ensure that every vote is counted properly.”
“Machine votes tend to be accurate,” Bolinsky said, expecting the numbers to be substantively the same, though he admitted that the recount was his “opponent’s right” under state law.