Council candidates considering recount

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, September 4, 2008

By By Adam Prestridge
By noon today, City of Atmore officials will know for sure if a recount of the Aug. 26 municipal elections will occur.
Council members met during a special called council meeting and approved the $8,950 cost estimate for a recount requested by council candidates who were defeated in last week's election.
"This is a special called meeting because of an inquiry the city clerk received yesterday from the District 1, 2 and 3 candidates that did not win the elections, which were Anthony Williams from District 1, Teddy McNeal from District 2 and Sam Holly from District 3," mayor Howard Shell said. "They were interested in having a recount of just these districts. State law requires us to establish a cost of what it would take to do that, publish such costs and make them aware of that."
According to Shell, the candidates demanding the recount are required to foot the cost of the recount.
"We've never encountered this before," Shell said. "We've just been following the instructions of the League of Municipalities."
The cost of the recount includes $750 for six poll workers, $4,800 to Howell Hawthorne for three voting machines, $900 for ESS (Data Packs) and $2,500 per day for fees to city attorney Ed Hines. The cost of the recount would have to be paid in full up front by the candidates before the recount could be performed.
City Clerk Becca Smith said if the candidates agree to the recount costs, it would be held within the next 24 hours.
"As soon as I can get everybody together," Smith said. "I have to have two poll workers for each district. I would want to try to have it sometime tomorrow. They have until noon today to officially request the recount and then I have 24 hours to notify all the candidates."
Smith said the recount is not manual. She explained that one poll worker would hand the ballots to the other poll worker who would feed them through voting machine.
Log onto this afternoon to see if the recount fees were agreed upon.

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