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Recount shows Provo city councilman winning by 11 votes

By Steve Fidel | Posted - Nov. 23, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.

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PROVO — A Wednesday ballot recount did not change the outcome of Provo's Municipal Council District 1 race, where Gary Winterton barely edged out Bonnie Morrow.

The election night count had Winterton winning by nine votes, a slim enough margin to entitle Morrow to ask for a recount, which she did.

Things got interesting on Tuesday when scanners set up to recount the paper ballots showed a dramatically different outcome that called the scanners' functionality into question.

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Bryan E. Thompson decided to conduct a ballot recount by hand on Wednesday instead of waiting to find out what caused the scanner problem.

Essentially, what happened within a vote or two, the recount verified that our election night results were accurate. I'm pretty confident the other races were OK.

–Bryan E. Thompson

The ballots were counted twice on Wednesday. "The second count matched up identically to the first hand count. The final result was 803 votes for Gary Winterton and 792 for Bonnie Morrow, an 11-vote difference," Thompson said.

The scanner problem prompted a question about whether other election-night results are now in question. Thompson said Wednesday he now believes the equipment was functioning properly on election night and that the scanner problems were only part of the process involved in the recount.

"Essentially, what happened within a vote or two, the recount verified that our election night results were accurate," Thompson said. "I'm pretty confident the other races were OK."

Thompson said the Provo City Council planned to certify the recount Wednesday evening.


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