The Bulletin Board
Recount returns Manchester House seat to Republicans
Senior Deputy Secretary of State Patricia Lovejoy sits next to Secretary of State David Scanlan during the initial recount of the Manchester Ward 6 House race at the State Archives building. (Amanda Gokee | New Hampshire Bulletin)
Republican Larry Gagne won the Manchester Ward 6 House seat in a second recount completed Tuesday evening.
The seat had flipped from Gagne to Democrat Maxine Mosley in an initial recount completed last week. But on Thursday, Secretary of State David Scanlan said the first recount didn’t appear to have included all votes, prompting Mosley along with Sen. Donna Soucy to file a lawsuit attempting to block Scanlan from continuing the recount.
Tuesday morning, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius rejected the Democrat’s petition and ruled that the recount must proceed. The recount, held in the State Archives building, began at 1 p.m. and concluded around 7 p.m. It included a review of all ballots cast in the race. In total, 3,998 ballots were counted Tuesday.
The second recount showed that Gagne had received 1,824 votes, 26 votes more than Mosley. The election night count had Gagne beating Mosley by 23 votes but an initial recount appeared to reverse that result, with Mosley winning by just one vote. Republicans now hold 201 House seats, while Democrats have 198, with one seat undecided because of a tied race.
“New Hampshire’s full and complete election process should play out to ensure the voters’ duly elected representatives are the ones, in fact, representing them,” said House Majority Leader Jason Osborne of Auburn in a statement after Tuesday’s recount. “Despite the Democratic Party’s hypocritical antics, justice prevailed today.”
A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Democratic Party said it will take the case to the Ballot Law Commission for a full and accurate accounting of the votes. The commission will review challenged ballots where there was any ambiguity about voter intent.
“We are obviously disappointed in the outcome of today’s court hearing and recount, but unlike the secretary of state and the GOP, we are going to follow the law and take our case to the Ballot Law Commission as prescribed in statute,” said Colin Booth in a statement. He said the recounts place doubt on the secretary of state and his process.
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