Savage maintains WSESD board win

Jammed tabulator in Guilford thought to have caused original vote count error

Owing to an editor's error, the town clerk of Dummerston was inadvertently identified in the print version of this story and the original online post. It has been corrected.


After unofficially winning a three-year seat as a director on the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) School Board by just two votes in the March 5 election, Colleen Savage has retained that win following a recount.

In the end, newcomer Savage won the seat over newcomer Richard Leavy by eight votes, 1,672 to 1,664.

Leavy requested the recount several days after the election.

Incumbent Tim Maciel retained his seat and his initial vote count of 1,680 did not change following the recount.

The town clerks of Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney submitted their recount results on March 13 to WSESD Clerk Mo Hart, who says there are several reasons for "adjustments in the numbers during a recount," and may be no more complicated than a paper jam.

"Upon [the] Guilford town clerk's call to the Secretary of State, it was learned that ballot jams are a common cause for discrepancies," (1)Hart said in a statement

"The Guilford tabulator had jammed on more than one occasion on election day as voters inserted their ballots," Hart's statement continued. "During the recount, with fewer users and a consistent manner of use, it did not jam at all."

Leavy thanked all those who worked on the recount.

"I also want to congratulate Tim and Colleen, and I look forward to what this next year brings and seeing how you both contribute to that," he added. "I certainly plan on staying involved myself and contributing in whatever capacity I can."

The election was held to select two Brattleboro representatives for serve three-year terms on the WSESD board.

An initial glitch occurred when the Dummerston ballot did not reflect that voters should choose two names for the two seats. Town Clerk Laurie Frechette attempted to reach out to voters in various ways, including with handouts and signage, in order to rectify and clarify that situation before the election.

This News item by Virginia Ray was written for The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates