Tension, ballots pile up as Hernando recount begins

Poll workers and Hernando elections employees recount ballots Monday in Brooksville. Ken Fagan had a seven-vote lead over Rusty Amore for the Spring Hill Fire Board; Cynthia Moore had 41 over Sandra Nicholson in a School Board race.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Poll workers and Hernando elections employees recount ballots Monday in Brooksville. Ken Fagan had a seven-vote lead over Rusty Amore for the Spring Hill Fire Board; Cynthia Moore had 41 over Sandra Nicholson in a School Board race.

BROOKSVILLE

Two Hernando County races are still undecided a week after the general election as a recount will continue today.

Elections staffers were expected to finish a machine recount of precinct ballots around 5 p.m. Monday, said County Judge Donald Scaglione, a member of the Hernando elections canvassing board.

Workers then will get started recounting about 20,000 early and absentee ballots at 9 a.m. today, Scaglione said. Officials also are expected to double-check so-called over- and under-votes — ballots that did not register a response in the races.

Elections staffers worked in shifts Monday to feed more than 59,000 ballots into a dozen ballot scanners.

"They're getting to the large precincts now," Scaglione told Ken Fagan about 3 p.m.

At the start of the day, Fagan had a seven-vote lead over Rusty Amore in the race for a seat on the Spring Hill Fire Board — a margin of victory of 0.02 percent.

In the District 5 School Board race, retired educator Cynthia Moore of Brooksville had a 41-vote advantage over four-term incumbent Sandra Nicholson — a margin of victory of 0.08 percent.

State law requires a recount when the margin is less than one-half of 1 percent.

Williams and the rest of the canvassing board oversaw the counting of provisional and absentee ballots last week.

Fagan said people, mainly supporters, already are calling to talk with their newest Fire Board member, to voice a concern or ask how he plans to cut the department's budget. "I say, 'Wait a minute, it's not over.' "

Nicholson and Moore also showed up Monday to make sure the count had started without a hitch. Moore said she hoped the results come sooner rather than later. "My body can't take it," she said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@sptimes.com.

Tension, ballots pile up as Hernando recount begins 11/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 8, 2010 9:13pm]

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