Recount Confirms Plaistow Selectmen’s Race Outcome

Maryellen Pelletier, Plaistow, N.H., town clerk. (Frank Komola photograph for WHAV News.)

In a process that took a little over 90 minutes, a recount of last week’s results in the selectmen’s race confirmed last week’s outcome.

The one vote margin of victory by incumbent Selectman Steven Ranlett over Budget Committee Vice Chairperson Francine Hart didn’t change. Of the slightly more than1,000 ballots cast, several dozen voters chose not to vote for either candidate. Had they done so,  the outcome could have been different and much less stressful for both candidates. But that wasn’t the case, and Hart requested the recount.

Town Moderator Robert Harb, a Haverhill attorney, spent about 20 minutes explaining the process to the members of the group performing the recount, the candidates for the office and observers each candidate was allowed to have present to monitor the recount. After answering two or three questions posed by several of the approximately 20 residents in attendance, the process got underway.

The days before any election can take a toll on most  candidates as they canvass the town and try to persuade voters to help them get elected. But, on top of the stress that comes with the process, heavy snow and blizzard conditions prompted town officials to postpone the election for one week. And the final outcome of a one vote margin added another layer of drama to the process.