Results stand after Bay vote recount

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Mary Madalinski, left, and Gail Johnson, review Delta County’s general election ballots during a vote recount held at Escanaba City Hall Tuesday. The recount focused on votes cast in the county’s narrow Bay College Board of Trustees race.

ESCANABA — A vote recount of Delta County’s close Bay College Board of Trustees race did not change the race’s overall results.

The Bay College Board of Trustees recount was initiated in response to a recount petition filed by Thomas England, one of three candidates who ran to fill one of two full-length terms on the board during the general election. England lost the race by 12 votes — according to earlier vote totals, he received 6,981 votes, while Joy Hopkins received 6,993 votes and Steve O’Driscoll received 7,639 votes.

When the recount was finished, four votes were added to England’s total. However, as Hopkins picked up the same number of votes during the recount, she and O’Driscoll will fill the two board terms.

“They both picked up four, so it’s (still) a difference of 12,” Delta County Clerk Nancy Kolich said.

As O’Driscoll received a significantly higher number of votes than England and Hopkins, his votes were separated out but were not recounted.

“There was too much of a vote difference,” Kolich said.

Hopkins said while she had mixed feelings about the recount itself, she looks forward to continuing to work with the Bay College Board of Trustees.

“I’m delighted that I was a witness to our democratic process, and … I regret taxpayer dollars were spent on the recount,” she said. “I’m also delighted that I can continue to serve the college and work on continued student success and long-term financial stability of the college.”

The recount, which took place at Escanaba City Hall Tuesday, began at 9 a.m. and lasted until about 2:15 p.m. Kolich said it was done in two shifts — the first of which involved about 40 election workers, and the second of which involved about 30 election workers.

“It’s a total of about 70 election workers to do the recount,” she said.

Over the course of the morning and afternoon, these election workers hand-counted ballots from each of the county’s 27 precincts.

“Basically, we’re hand-counting every precinct in Delta County,” Kolich said.

Though recounts on this scale are not particularly common in Delta County, they are not unprecedented, either. According to Kolich, the county’s last major recount took place in 2008.

“We had a county-wide recount in the primary for state (representative),” she said.


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