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Too close to check: Rochester negs Keno recount

November 12. 2017 9:16PM

Every vote counts.

If you need a reminder, check out the results from Rochester’s referendum on allowing Keno at city bars and restaurants. Voters approved the measure 1,036 to 1,035.

Voters in Manchester, Nashua, Berlin, Claremont, Somersworth, and Laconia also approved Keno. Franklin approved the bingo-style game in October. Voters in Concord, Dover, and Keene rejected having Keno in their cities. Most of the city results were overwhelming, with 75 percent in favor in Berlin, and nearly two-thirds opposed in Keene.

Somersworth was also close. The Keno question passed 420-391.

The tally in Rochester was so close election officials originally reported that the question had failed, only to find an error that once corrected resulted in the one-vote win.

Yet against the advice of legal counsel, Rochester councilors last week declined to recount the question. Councilor James Gray wanted to wait for a citizen request. He should have wanted to ensure an accurate count.

New Hampshire elections are very clean, but innocent mistakes by voters and vote counters can change election results by a handful of votes. Neglecting to double-check is inexcusable.

It’s as if Gray and his fellow councilors got the answer they wanted to hear, and did not dare check to make sure it’s what voters actually decided.

Fortunately, several city residents have requested a recount, and Rochester will make sure it gets the count right.

Local and County Government Local Editorial Rochester

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