Counting Your Votes

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AROUNDballot counting edited-1 THE NEK - Election day has come and gone, ballots have been counted and candidates have been elected. But what many people do not know about this big day is the process of counting these ballots, and how it differs depending on your towns size.

"It takes a lot of people to pull off an election" according to Lyndon's town clerk, Dawn Dwyer. "When we gavel the election closed, we then have to run the reports from the machines, then we have two groups of workers, some will take what I call the clean ballots, those with no write-ins, and the justice of the peace will have to view every single ballot that is cast for the voter intent" said Dywer.

For a town like Lyndon, the ballots are counted both by hand and a tabulator. However, for a small town like Sheffield, the ballots are counted strictly by hand.

"We don't have any tabulators or anything like that" says Sheffield's town clerk, William St. Peter.

Which is the reason why the select board, justice of the peace, as well as the town clerk need to work together to make sure they are getting all of the numbers correct.

"There have been times they've tabulated up their stuff… and it hasn't added up, quite honestly" said Dwyer. "The pairs would simply go back through and another pair would check."

And for larger towns like St. Johnsbury, their task is a little more simple. According to the town clerk, Stacy Jewell, they have two tabulators that count their votes."They'll go through the machine, the machine counts them. Anything that's a write-in, we have to hand-count at the end of the night." said Jewell.

In addition, the early voting ballots are counted at the same time as the rest of the ballots. Which makes it safe to say, these town clerks have a hefty job on election night.