The Wellington Canvassing Board directed Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher to prepare an amended audit report with the new election results to be certified by the board at a meeting Tuesday, March 27.
The board met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the audit as well as whether the board had to accept the previously incorrect election results.
Village Attorney Jeff Kurtz said that he believed the election results were not truly certified until the board did so.
“When you look at certification statutes,” he said, “they don’t address who is to do a certification for a municipality.”
But, he said, Wellington’s charter states that the board “shall meet and publicly certify the vote.”
Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Carmine Priore asked about the certification of the incorrect election figures that was done Friday, March 16. Kurtz said he believed that was not a proper certification.
“Certification of the election is what the canvassing board does,” he said.
Additionally, Kurtz said he felt the post-certification audit was done prematurely.
Bucher said she believed it was her office that certifies results.
“Yesterday you were a rubber stamp ministerial board,” she said. “Today you’re the board who certifies the election.”
Kurtz said his office looked at the statutes extensively and believed that because Bucher’s office is contracted by Wellington, they are not the certifying body. However, because there is no language in the statutes, there was no definitive answer.
Bucher said that she can prepare the audit for next Tuesday’s meeting.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Matt Willhite filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon asking for a court order to stop the board from accepting the incorrect results. After the meeting, Willhite said he was hopeful that he would not need to go through with the suit if the board certifies the correct results.