Inside and outside of Oakland

Who says your vote doesn't count?

  Who says your vote doesn't count?
  In the race for Waterford Township trustee, not John Paul Torres or Donna F. Kelley.

  Kelley asked for a recount of the results of the Aug. 3 election when she finished three votes behind Torres in the three-way Democratic primary.
  For her, the recount that concluded Thursday morning was a heart-breaker.
  Kelley picked up three votes in the recount to finish with 1,019, but Torres picked up one to finish a single vote ahead at 1,020. Paul Deni picked up one vote to finish at 935.
  Torres will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot against Republican Anthony Bartolotta and U.S. Taxpayers candidate Paul J. Greenawalt.
  "Who said one vote doesn't matter?" Oakland County Director of Elections Joe Rozell rhetorically asked.
  "When we closed out the last precinct, you could see the looks on their faces and the gasp in the room when people learned it was one vote that decided it," he said.
  Rozell said it's likely a number of spoiled ballots contributed to the results.
  Under Michigan's open primary system, ballots listed Democratic and Republican candidates but people could only vote for candidates in one party or the other, not both.
"Certainly a reasonable numbers of ballots weren't able to count in that race because voters voted in both Republican and Democratic primaries," Rozell said.
  The final recount from the Aug. 3 primary continues Friday when canvassers recount one precinct in Clarkston and the results of a tax question.
  Voters in Clarkston were asked to allow the city to levy an additional five mills of property tax. The question failed by seven votes.
  City officials were intending to use the tax increase to retain its police department.
  Also on Friday, elections workers are waiting to hear if the Michigan Supreme Court will accept an appeal of a group called "The Tea Party," which is seeking political party status on the November ballot.
  The group's petitions were rejected by state canvassers and an appeal was also rejected.
  Contact staff writer Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, or follow him on Twitter @crummc.

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