A recount of absentee ballots for the Nov. 4 race to elect the Kent County recorder of deeds has resulted in a reversal of the election night results.
Superior Court Judges William L. Witham Jr. and Vivian L. Meninilla certified Democrat Betty Lou McKenna as the winner over Republican La Mar T. Gunn following a hand count of 1,489 absentee votes, said state Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove.
The final tally was 19,248 votes for McKenna and 19,246 for Gunn, said Superior Court Deputy Administrator Lisa Robinson.
Only absentee votes are subject to a recount, Manlove said.
The Board of Canvass, consisting of an equal number of Republican and Democratic members, completed their work late Thursday evening. The board is required by law to review and certify all elections results, not just those where the outcomes are contested, Manlove said.
By law, an automatic recount is required if the difference between the two candidates is less than one half of one percent.
“I’m delighted,” McKenna said when reached by phone early Friday. “I’m very pleased with the outcome.”
Also reached by phone Friday morning, Gunn referred all inquiries to attorney Constantine Malmberg. As of the time this story was posted online, Malmberg had not returned requests for comment.
Republican state Executive Director John Fluharty, however, said the party is considering a legal challenge to the results.
“We question the recount,” Fluharty said Friday morning. “There are two votes out there that were switched. We want to know what’s going on. Let’s see the ballots. We need to determine voter intent.”
McKenna said she is happy to put the situation behind her.
“I love my job, and I’m just delighted to go back for four more years,” she said.
Fluharty, however, said questions still remain.
“Voters need to know their votes count,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of it.”