Voccola wins after recount in Zoning race

Alec Voccola is the winner of the District III Zoning Commission race after all.

Voccola, the Republican candidate, was announced as the winner of the Zoning Commission race following a recount of the ballots on Monday at Town Hall.

Prior to the recount, Voccola had 918 votes, one shy of Democrat Barbara Heimlich’s 919 votes. After the recount, Voccola finished with 922 votes, four votes more than he had received last Tuesday. Heimlich remained at 919 votes.

Both candidates were at Town Hall on Monday to observe the recount.

Republican Registrar of Voters Lou DeCilio said some voters had intended to vote for Heimlich or Voccola, but did not completely fill in the circle on the ballots. DeCilio said the state’s switch to paper ballots allows for the re-creation of an election in case of a close race.

DeCilio said the ballots were not rejected and in other races, the markings did hit the circle.

“Some of the blanks that we initially thought to be blank, when you looked at them individually, you could see the intent of the voter,” DeCilio said. “We did it very methodically. We went through it very slow.”

Democratic Registrar Rick Marcone said if a voter used a checkmark on a ballot instead of filling in the circle, it may be declared blank by the vote scanning machine.

“If it doesn’t hit that bubble, it counts as a blank if the machine didn’t count it. But when you look at it, the voter intent would be to vote for that person even if the machine did not see it,” Marcone said.

DeCilio said both candidates were permitted to look at ballots and agreed with he and Marcone about the voters’ intents on those ballots.

Voccola’s win in the recount gives Republicans a sweep of the four Zoning Commission races. Republicans Richard Fredette, Chris Silhavey and Mike Henrick won the other three Zoning Commission contests last Tuesday.

Stay with The Stratford Star for more coverage of this story. 

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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