Broward may need as many as 3 recounts

With only a handful of votes separating some candidates, three Broward municipal races may come down to a recount, election officials said Wednesday.

Voters across the county went to the polls Tuesday to elect local officials — but the tallies for Deerfield Beach mayor, Fort Lauderdale District 2 commissioner and Sunrise commissioner were too close to call, said Mary Cooney, spokeswoman for the Broward Supervisor of Elections.

“We won’t know if there has to be a recount until after the board meets,” she said, adding that a recount is already tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, should one be necessary.

The Broward County Canvassing Board will convene at 5 p.m. Thursday to consider provisional ballots — whose legitimacy had not yet been determined — and determine whether a recount will be necessary in those three races. Results from other cities, including Miramar, Pompano Beach and Oakland Park, may be certified Thursday, Cooney said.

Election rules require a machine recount if two candidates are less than half of a percent separated from each other. A manual recount is required if the candidates are less than a quarter of a percent separated, Cooney said.

While all the precincts were counted, the results are not finalized until the board meets.

After Tuesday’s vote, Jean Robb, the Deerfield Beach mayor from 1980 to 1993, held a slight lead over the current mayor, Peggy Noland. Robb received 2,773 votes, or 50.24 percent, while Noland received 2,746, or 49.76 percent, a difference of 27 votes or .48 percent.

In Fort Lauderdale, a former commissioner. Dean Trantalis, led his opponent, former city commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom, for the District 2 Seat by only 18 votes — Cooney said as it stands now, without any provisional ballots, Trantalis may narrowly avoid a recount.

Trantalis, who was the city’s first openly gay commissioner, received 1,543 votes, or 50.29 percent, while Rodstrom, who gave up her seat to run for the county commission, only to lose, had 1,525, or 49.71 percent. The two candidates are separated by .58 percent.

With seven candidates vying for the Sunrise seat, it came down to a horse race between two candidates. Neil C. Kerch received 696 votes, or 22.33 percent, to James H. Tabeek’s 688 votes, or 22.07 percent; a difference of only eight votes or .26 percent. The other candidates were: Yomtov “Vivi” Assidon, Imogene Baldwin-Ferguson, John Tómas Fusaro, Kris Hobbs and David Iannacone.

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