Original Winners Prevail in Oakmont Recount

Jackie Ryan and Marty Thompson

The order of finishing changed, but the four candidates elected to the Oakmont Board April 3 prevailed in a recount conducted Monday, April 17.

Directors Frank Batchelor, Carolyn Bettencourt, Ken Heyman, and Greg Goodwin were the winners again in the recount, finishing in that order to serve two-year board terms.

Election Inspector Jim Ernst explains the recount process to observers. (Photos by Marty Thompson)

“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” OVA President Ellen Leznik said after the results were announced by Jim Ernst, the independent election inspector.

“I never had any doubts about the resolution of the recount,” Leznik said.

“I always had great faith in our own counters, and that they had done a great job,” she said.

While the four winners remained the same, their vote totals and order of finish were different, putting incumbent Frank Batchelor in first place. He finished second in the first count. A total of 1,913 ballots were deemed eligible, up from 1,897 a week earlier. Ernst said unopened ballots were re-evaluated, increasing the total by 16 ballots.

Batchelor gained 19 votes in the recount. Bettencourt, Heyman and Goodwin, who ran as a slate, were separated by one vote apiece. The slate campaigned in opposition to construction of pickleball courts at the Central Complex and vowed to re-examine the construction contract. Work on the courts began April 3, and was halted by Leznik following the April 4 vote count.

James Ernst explains recount process to volunteers who were recruited from outside Oakmont.

The margin between the fourth and fifth place finishers widened considerably in the recount, from six votes to 18 votes.

Batchelor had 974 votes, Bettencourt 963, Heyman 962, and Goodwin 961.

The recount resulted when 31 people filed requests by an April 10 deadline, said OVA Manager Cassie Turner. More requests came in after the deadline, but were not counted, she said.

Eleven previously unopened ballots were not matched with addresses, were then matched and deemed to have been omitted from the first tally by clerical error, and so were included in the recount, Ernst said.

The 16 ballots also included three whose inner envelopes were found to have been omitted from the first count, he said. Two other votes came from ballots from owners with more than one property, but who used the same return address on both, and Ernst counted only one of each.

The recount was done by 16 non-Oakmont residents, working as volunteers.

Volunteer organizaer Nancy Caldwell (Photo by Julie Kiil)

Nancy Caldwell, who supervised the volunteers, said names came from the county clerk’s list of poll workers. The group came from elsewhere in the county, including one from Windsor. Volunteer Oakmont residents handled the original vote count.

It was not immediately clear who would bear the cost of the recount.

The results certified by independent elections inspector James Ernst are:

Frank Batchelor        974

Carolyn Bettencourt 963

Ken Heyman            962

Greg Goodwin          961

Al Medeiros              943

Stephanie Curry       937

Bill Lucker                 854

Wayne Van Bockern 700

Write-ins                    8