Unofficial results show Salmon defeating Brock

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(Host) The unofficial results of a statewide recount in the Auditor’s race show that Democrat Tom Salmon has defeated Republican incumbent Randy Brock by a narrow 104 votes.

Both candidates say they’re going to wait until the election results have been formally certified before discussing the outcome of the race.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) When the official results of the November election were announced a week after Election Day, Brock led Salmon by 137 votes.

But after a recount of more than a quarter million ballots, Salmon has emerged with a 104-vote lead.

Chittenden County was the last county to report their recount results. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says Brock gained some votes in the county but not enough to overtake Salmon.

A final certification hearing will be held on Thursday in Washington County Superior Court. Markowitz says Judge Mary Teachout will review the recount totals as well as some disputed ballots:

(Markowitz) “Although those numbers wouldn’t change the outcome even if they went all one way or the other, there are not enough to throw it back to Brock. That being said the judge may see things we’re not looking at that causes her to question the numbers that are there. And ultimately it’s her job to make that final determination.”

(Kinzel) Despite the swing of several hundred votes, Markowitz thinks the recount shows that the state’s election system is very dependable.

(Markowitz) “Folks should realize that even though the outcome may have changed or looks like it’s changing based on the recount, the actual changes in the vote was statistically very very minor. The amount of change that we saw should make us feel very very confident in our election system.”

(Kinzel) Salmon says he’s pleased that the unofficial recount shows him ahead but he wants to wait until the results are certified before claiming victory:

(Salmon) “Because the results are yet to be certified I’m feeling that we’re not yet there. And there are a few steps involved before getting an actual certificate of election. I have enough respect for Mr. Brock and our professional relationship and his service to the state to not jump the gun on this.”

(Kinzel) Salmon says there’s no doubt that the last month has been a roller coaster ride for his family.

(Salmon) “It’s been a very long campaign season that kept on going and going. In fact our family had accepted the loss on November 8th and had processed that, and even with the recount people reminded me it wasn’t about me. It was about the 250,000 people that voted and I respected that and yet still didn’t think there’d be that much movement.”

(Kinzel) Secretary of State Markowitz says Brock has a limited number of options to challenge the results of the recount. She says Brock would have to prove to the judge that a significant error occurred in the recount system in order to overturn the final results.

For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier

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