Recount confirms Taborsak victory for seat on Danbury City Council
DANBURY — Democrat Robert Taborsak remained victorious Wednesday in a recount to determine the final at-large seat on City Council.
Taborsak earned 7,275 votes, which was 32 more than Republican Bruce Bennett, the recount showed. It took about seven hours to review the ballots and numbers, with the town clerk intending to certify the results on Thursday.
State law required a citywide recount because of the 14-vote margin between the candidates on Election Day.
After the recount, Taborsak earned 14 more votes than had been counted last Tuesday, while Bennett lost three.
Taborsak said he plans to focus on overcrowding in the schools and revitilizing downtown.
“I hope that we work together and we get some of these things solved,” he said.
Bennett, who was appointed about a year ago to City Council, said he enjoyed his time on council. The businessman from Bruce Bennett Nissan said he would consider running again.
“I truly believe I have a lot to offer this city,” he said.
With Taborsak’s win, Democrats picked up three seats on the 21-member City Council.
For the past two years, Republicans held a 14-7 majority, giving them a two-thirds “supermajority” that allowed them to unilaterally pass budget votes and other important legislative measures.
Council members tend to be bipartisan and civil with each other, Taborsak said.
“The vast majority of work, there is no disagreement,” he said. “If you’ve got to fix potholes, you’ve got to fix potholes.”
More than 40 people took up several rooms Wednesday in the third floor of City Hall for the recount — the first in the city since 2002, a special election was held to fill Mayor Mark Boughton’s former state representative seat, said Mary Ann Doran, Republican registrar. The last recount for a municipal election in Danbury was around 1987, she said.
Back then, the city used a different type of machine, one that Doran is fond of, even though the new ones are meant to be more accurate. The new machines count absentee and Election Day registration ballots, she said.
“The machines are pretty smart, smarter than we are,” Doran said.
The recount went smoothly, she said.
“Everybody did a great job,” Doran said. “They didn’t have to take their shoes off and use their toes to count.”
Registars for each party picked 19 people to work the recount, in addition to the head moderator and two people from the town clerk’s office. Republicans and Democrats had “watchers,” who observed the count but did not participate.
“They all want the same thing,” Doran said. “Every vote counts. Every vote is counted.”
Workers sorted through more than 16,000 ballots to determine the good from the bad. The good ones are clearly marked and will go through the machines, while residents might have poorly marked or voted for too many candidates in the bad ones, Doran said.
The bad ballots were counted by hand, but the large majority went through the machine, Doran said.
Ballots are rejected when residents vote for too many candidates because there is no way to determine who they meant to elect.
“If I could read their mind, I’d be buying lottery tickets and be a millionaire,” Doran said.