County officials on Wednesday conducted a hand recount of Election Day ballots cast in a Butte-Silver Bow precinct during the June 7 primary, even though new results would not have affected the outcomes of any races.
Linda Sajor-Joyce, Butte-Silver Bow’s clerk and recorder, said the recount was performed because poll books on Election Day showed more ballots had been issued in Precinct 14 than the 75 votes tabulated by machine. The precinct covers part of Uptown Butte.
A physical count of Election Day ballots in the precinct showed 110 ballots but only 75 had been tabulated, so it was clear the others had not been run through the machine. The hand-count was done to ensure all ballots were counted properly. The recount did not include all the absentee ballots cast in the precinct because all of them were tabulated.
The precinct’s boundaries are the same as Council District 11 and the two candidates running for commissioner in that district — Tommy Walker and Nate Watson — finished only two votes apart. But since council seats are nonpartisan and there were only two candidates, both advance to the general election in November with a clean slate. The primary election, in other words, had no bearing on the race.
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For the record, before the recount, Walker finished with 225 votes in the primary to 223 for Watson. After the hand-count Wednesday, Watson had 239 votes to 239 votes for Walker. Again, no matter what the primary count was, they are 0-0 heading into the fall.
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