Greenwich begins to recount the votes in a tight race for a Republican seat on the Education Council

GREENWICH – The recount began Thursday morning in Greenwich’s tightest municipal election in years.

When the initial ballot count was finalized early Wednesday, GOP candidate Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony was the top voter for one of the seats.

But for the second seat, Cody Kittle held a 36-vote lead over Megan Galletta.

The narrow gap between the two candidates called for a mandatory recount, which began Thursday morning in a phased effort at Greenwich Town Hall.

The recount was scheduled to continue throughout Thursday – and could run until Friday if necessary, Republican Voters Registrar Fred DeCaro III said.

DeCaro oversaw the recount of more than 15,000 ballots. The first step was to check all paper ballots for anything that only had partially filled circles or other issues that might have prevented tabulators from reading the vote.

Workers were setting aside ballots with possible issues for a Republican official and a Democratic official to consider. The others were to be forwarded by the tabulators.

“The main difference between now and election day is that we are taking a closer look at the intention of voters on what I will call ‘troubled or unusual’ ballots,” DeCaro said. “Usually, if a ballot goes through the tabulator and the tabulator accepts it, we accept the tabulator because it is very precise.

“However, because the race is so close, there may be small instances where the voters’ intention is different because they did not fully fill the circle or they wrote a name and forgot to fill in. the oval, ”he said. “We’re catching them today to make sure the voter intention is the most important thing reflected.”

In the town hall employee lounge, Democratic Voters Registrar Mary Hegarty oversaw the recount of 2,304 mail-in ballots, with the same standards.

The race between Kittle and Galletta is the only one involved. The initial tally had Kittle with 8,336 votes against 8,300 for Galletta. Mercanti-Anthony won 9,276 votes, putting him far ahead in the three-way race for the two Republican seats.

The race was uncompetitive for Democrats, with vice-chairman of the board Kathleen Stowe and school board newcomer Laura Kostin running unopposed for two Democratic seats.

The counting process, which is open to the public, drew several observers when it began Thursday morning, with Republican city committee chairman Dan Quigley, State Representative Kimberly Fiorello, R-149, and outgoing Republican Education Council member Peter Sherr.

Galletta was also on hand, as was independent school board writing candidate Kara Philbin, who campaigned closely with Galletta in the final days of the race. In the initial count, Philbin received 1,493 votes.

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This story will be updated.

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