Results of a recount ordered Monday change the outcome of the March 13 Wellington Village Council election — but not until legal action is taken to challenge last week’s already-certified results.
New numbers show that Vice Mayor Matt Willhite was re-elected to Seat 4 and candidate John Greene was elected to Seat 1. Meanwhile, mayoral candidate Bob Margolis still defeated incumbent Darell Bowen, but by a slim margin.
Recounted results show that Margolis took 2,974 votes (50.6 percent) to Bowen’s 2,877 votes (49.4 percent).
In the Seat 1 race, Greene came out ahead of opponent Shauna Hostetler. Greene took 2,956 votes (51.85 percent) to Hostetler’s 2,745 votes (48.15 percent).
Meanwhile, in Seat 4, incumbent Willhite had the highest margin of any race — 3,341 votes (58.07 percent) to former Councilman Al Paglia’s 2,412 votes (41.93 percent).
Candidates will have to legally challenge the previously certified results.
Margolis said he was pleased with the results. “I’ve always said that the mayor is just one vote,” he said. “Now we have to work on building a consensus and tackling some of the issues facing Wellington.”
Willhite said that he was happy to hear that voters felt he did a good job. “I felt that I did a lot of good work for the village,” he said. “It was caught. No one has taken office yet. The supervisor of election did a good job.”
Greene said he was glad about the results, but upset about the situation. “It’s unfortunate for everyone involved,” he said. “But I am glad that the process worked. The votes were counted and we have put integrity back in the system.”
Bucher said that the error in the software, which has been in use since 2007, has never occurred in the State of Florida.
“When we inputted the election, we inputted the sequence of mayor, seat one and seat four,” she said. “Then in the background, the software is auto-generated. When we went to the auto-generated sequence, that was skewed.”
Bucher said she hoped people would understand it was a software error that was caught because of the process. She stressed that the process is in place to catch these errors.
“This in no way was a human error,” she said. “We do audits on every single election and this is the first time that we’ve ever had a discrepancy.”