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Provo • After four hours of hand-counting 1,600 ballots, Gary Winterton emerged as the winner in the nail-biter Provo Municipal Council District 1 race.
Winterton, who initially led Bonnie Morrow by two votes on Election Night and saw his lead widen to nine after provisional ballots were counted, ended up winning, 803-797, after Wednesday's re-recount.
Morrow, who pushed for the re-tallying, called the contest an exciting, roller-coaster-like race..
"I really appreciate working with Gary Winterton," she said. "He was a great opponent and he did a good job."
Winterton said he was glad the race was over and noted that it serves as a warning against voter apathy.
"It shows that everything counts," the victor said, "and it is important to vote."
Winterton said his heart went out to Morrow, who he praised for running a good campaign.
Morrow saw the matchup as a demonstration that women can seek office and make a sound showing while spending little money. She said she hasn't decided whether to take another stab at politics.
The recount was to have wrapped up Tuesday, but a problem with the optical-scan machines forced Utah County, which ran the election for Provo, to resort to a hand count Wednesday. Workers began sorting through the optical-scan paper ballots shortly after 10 a.m. and had final results by 2 p.m.
County Clerk-Auditor Bryan Thompson said Tuesday's machine recount was halted due to discrepancies in the results, which showed Morrow had jumped ahead by 700 votes.
"That was a red flag," Thompson said.
Thompson said Dominion Voting, the Denver firm that services the scanners, is reviewing the hardware and software, leading the county to do a manual count to determine the outcome.
With the results mirroring the initial outcome, Thompson said, it shows that the scanners were operating properly on Election Night, avoiding the need to recount those votes as well.
Granite High bond recount set
A recount will be conducted Dec. 2 on South Salt Lake's proposed $25 million bond to buy the closed Granite High and convert it into a community center. At least 10 residents who voted in the Nov. 8 election submitted written requests to City Recorder Craig Burton seeking a recount, a day after the official canvass determined the proposal lost 1,006 to 997. Burton said he delivered the requests Wednesday to the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office.