Historic City News Editor Michael Gold has just returned from the Supervisor of Elections office where political newcomer Gary Snodgrass has defeated incumbent Edward S. George for the City of St. Augustine Beach Commission Seat 5 in a recount conducted by the St. Johns County Canvassing Board.
When a recount is called, as was done in this case, the Canvassing Board reviews only available information pertaining to that selected contest; not every race and referendum. The board re-runs every ballot through the electronic reader – whether voted early, absentee, or on Election Day. Any ballot that passes electronically is tabulated. If a ballot is “over” (meaning that more than one choice was made in a single contest), or, if a ballot is “under” (meaning that the voter made no choice in one or more contests) it is set aside and inspected by hand.
No “hanging” or “pregnant” chads to worry with — but, the Canvassing Board is looking to see signs of the voter’s intention; which they do by inspecting the marks on the paper ballot.
Canvassing Board members are Supervisor of Elections Penny Halyburton, County Judge Charles Tinlin, and St. Johns County Commissioner Ray Quinn.
The Board convened this morning at 10:00 a.m. and spent about three hours completing the automated and manual review of the ballots.
At the conclusion of the canvassing, it was determined that Ed George gained one extra vote. Of 14 provisional ballots canvassed, six went to Snodgrass and six went to George — two were verified “undervotes”.
In the race for Seat 1 in the Marshall Creek CDD, after the Board canvassed the Provisional Ballots cast in the November 2nd General Election, there was greater than one-half percent difference between the candidates; therefore, there will be no full recount. Candidate Kirk C. Kemmish wins his election by four votes — just .54%.