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Selectman recount results in a tie; special election to be scheduled

Date: 6/7/2010

June 7, 2010.

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM -- On May 22, voters were invited to cast their ballots in the only contested race in town, the one for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. The initial results had challenger Robert Boilard edging out incumbent Dave Barry by one vote, 679 to 678.

Boilard was a part of the Board of Selectmen at its May 24 meeting. Barry called for a recount, however, which took place June 1. The result of the recount was a tie, 679 to 679.

This was the first time in Town Clerk Beverly Litchfield's 14-year tenure that an election has ended in a tie vote.

"Because this is considered a failure to elect, we now have 65 days [from the day of the recount] to schedule a special election," Assistant Town Clerk Carole Tardif explained. "We need to set a date, redo voter registration it's like a whole new election."

A special election will cost the town about $7,000, according to Tardif.

And, while both Barry and Boilard will remain on the ballot, anyone else wishing to run for the position may take out papers for the special election.

Tardif said the 1,358 votes cast equals about a 14 percent voter turn out. "Because this has really been in the public eye [with the recount], it really proves every vote counts," she said. "This time [with the special election], I think more will come out to support their candidates."

Until the special election, the Board of Selectmen will remain at two members, Patrick Brady and James Thompson.

All other positions elected on the May 22 ballot will retain their seats.

For more information regarding voter registration, call the Town Clerk's office at 596-2800 ext. 200.