By Scott Sullivan
It’s on! The Allegan County Board of Canvassers will conduct a recount of votes in the May 7 Saugatuck Public Schools $39.94-million bond proposal, which fell shy by three votes, Monday, June 3, in the Carnegie Room of the Allegan District Library at 10 a.m.
The request for funding to remodel and approve facilities fell 1,044 to 1,041.
Petitioners Maxine Dean, Andrew and Kimberly Zolper, Colleen Robison, Erin Molenhouse, Lindsay Tringali, Kim Ford and Sara Aumaugher called for the recount “in light of the vote being extremely close.
“In addition,” their letter to the county clerk’s office said, “to various concerns on the process, we have a good faith belief that we have a reasonable chance of winning the election if the votes are recounted.
“This has been (unfortunately) a divisive election,” the letter went on, “and numerous members of the community are wanting reassurance on the count in order to move forward without any doubts or lingering questions.
“Our reasons for potential errors in the precinct returns include:
“a) We understand that the ballot machine jammed multiple times in Saugatuck Township and needed to be reset;
“b) We have heard that voters received absentee ballots of deceased family members months after passing;
“c) Due to the high level of absentee voters, we want to ensure that all absentee votes were accurately counted and appropriate controls were followed.
“While we do not wish to drag out the process or create any hard feelings,” petitioners continued, “our goal is to bring a sense of peace and closure by ensuring every vote was counted correctly.
“We support our schools, our kids and the wonderful community that we live in. The voting process over this bond issue is a clear lesson that every voice matters and every vote counts.
“How wonderful that we live in a democratic society where we have the right to vote, and the right to a recount when the circumstances allow for it,” the letter said.