Katama Airfield hangar recount ends in tie

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This MV Times file photo shows the dilapidated hangar at Katama Airfield.

A recount for the Katama Airfield hangar showed voters were evenly divided on the $1.2 million Proposition 2½ debt exclusion.

The original votes showed the question, which was Question 4 on the ballot, failed by just three votes, 469-466. Proponents requested a recount, which was done Monday.

Edgartown town clerk Wanda Williams said the vote ended in a 468-468 tie, with four blank votes being switched because marks had been made, but were not counted by the machine. In one instance, the voter shaded in outside the oval, which was an indication that that person wanted to vote yes, Williams said.

As a result of the tie, the repairs won’t move forward.

Of the town’s 3,627 registered voters, 969, or 26 percent, went to the polls. There were 33 blank votes on the question.

Williams said four election workers did the recount, working in pairs on two. As one would read off the vote, another would tally it, she said. There is a small expense for the recount, but Williams wasn’t sure exactly how much, though she said it wouldn’t be much. Each of the election workers makes less than $12 per hour, and it took only an hour to do the recount.

The ballots were stored in a sealed box, locked in the town clerk’s, prior to the recount, Williams said. They’ve now been returned to the vault, where they’ll be held until they’re destroyed next year, she said.

The question had been approved overwhelmingly days earlier at town meeting.

Recounts are rare. The last one was about 12 years ago, and involved a race other than a local race, Williams said.

Members of the Katama Airport Commission, which requested the recount and got the necessary 10 signatures, could not immediately be reached for comment.