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Jeremy Burton, left, of ES&S, explains the recount procedure to recount board members Glenn Crecelius and Dawn Wright while Daniel Crecelious observes.

Bullington wins coroner recount


Two-day hand recount doubles Democrat's lead


December 19, 2012
Democrat David (Wayne) Bullington expanded his lead and won last week's recount in the Crawford County coroner's election over Republican Michelle Fitch.

Bullington, who tallied 2,230 votes on election day, gained 57 votes to finish with 2,287, while Fitch's total jumped just 25 from the 2,200 votes she was credited with on Nov. 6.

The hand recount took place in the courtroom at the judicial complex in English from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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David (Wayne) Bullington, left, and his attorney, Marcus Burgher III, watch the proceedings.
While he admitted the weeks leading up to the recount were stressful, especially for his family, Bullington, who was present both days, said he was confident that he would prevail.

"I didn't think (Fitch) could pick up very many votes," he said.

As the three-member recount board — Democrat Dawn Wright, Republican Glenn Crecelius and Jeremy Burton of ES&S, the county's election services provider — examined each ballot, the tallies changed as several votes originally rejected by the machine on election day were determined to be legitimate.

Those included ballots that had been incorrectly completed, including those where the candidate's name was circled, or had been filled out with a pencil and were unable to be read by the machine but whose intent was clear to the recount board.

Wright, who was successful in her recount challenge in the 2006 recorder's election, said this recount went "smoothly" after everybody settled in Friday morning. She said that when the board members came across a questionable ballot, they hashed it out.

"The (recount) board, I thought, did a good job," Bullington said.

Present throughout the two days were Democrats Ricki Hawkins and Peggy Bullington and Republican Daniel Crecelius as watchers. In addition, Bullington's attorney Marcus Burgher III and Chris Lane, who represented Fitch, attended part of the time. Fitch was not present either day.

Fitch filed a petition for the recount with the Crawford County Circuit Court on Nov. 13, a week after the election. To do so, she submitted a $139 filing fee and $181 bond.

Washington County Superior Judge Frank Newkirk Jr. of Washington County was appointed to the case after Crawford County Circuit Judge K. Lynn Lopp recused himself.

The recount needed to be completed by tomorrow (Thursday).

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