Ainsworth Will Appeal One-Vote Election of Buxton

Front Page / Dec. 16, 2010 12:53pm EST

Republican Rep. David Ainsworth of South Royalton confirmed this week that he will, after all, appeal his one-vote loss to Democrat Sarah Buxton.

The week after the election, Ainsworth told The Herald he doubted he would appeal. He said he changed his mind after a detailed inspection of the checklists of the two towns in the district,

Accordingly, he has contacted the Secretary of State’s office and said he would appeal. That office contacted the Attorney General’s office, which will investigate the details of the campaign’s complaint. The AG’s office will then report its findings to a committee of the legislature.

One basis of his appeal, Ainsworth said, is that three or four individuals who voted were registered in Royalton but also were on the voting checklist in other Vermont towns. The state still has those individuals listed as potential voters in those other towns, he said.

In addition, the campaign claims, one person who voted at the polls was also issued an absentee ballot at a California address. It hadn’t been determined whether that voter had returned the California ballot, he said.

Finally, the recount in Tunbridge ended up two votes short of the people who actually voted, Ainsworth said.

“We were each down one vote,” he said.

He did not claim that the Buxton campaign did anything appropriate.

After being presented with the evidence gathered by the attorney general’s office, the House committee will make a recommendation to the entire House of Representatives, which will decide whether a new election should be held, Ainsworth said.

He said he’s “not holding his breath” about the results. Democrats hold a large majority in the House of Representatives.

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