Councilman Broadhead plaintiff in claims of election errors
Yesterday a verified complaint and election contest was filed by Santaquin City councilman Keith Broadhead against Santaquin City.
The filing was made to Utah County’s Fourth District Court and contains an action to contest the election results of ballot propositions 1 and 2 of the controversial $9.9 million sewer fund bonds.
It also challenges the “constitutionality” of the city’s election procedures during and after the 2011 municipal election. Accusing the city of “departing from prior (election) practice”, one claim is made that “numerous individuals were prevented from casting their votes by long lines at the single polling place.”
A contest of the recount results is part of the complaint, stating: “During the recount, numerous errors were committed in the tabulation of votes cast in the election, as observed by numerous members of the public (including members of Santaquin’s City Council)”.
Filip Askerlund was, at the time, a member of the council and was present during the recount that was conducted on Nov 21. Current councilman Richard Payne was also present for that recount. The filing doesn’t specify which observers saw the errors in the vote counting, but Askerlund did make mention of similar errors in the Nov 28 meeting of the Board of Canvassers.
The controversial Nov 28 meeting to canvass the recounted votes is mentioned in the complaint, as is the fact that election results were forwarded to the Office of Utah’s Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell without an official canvass from the Board of Canvassers.
In a phone interview with inSantaquin News, Broadhead said the ballot propositions are the only part of the election being challenged.
“We’re only contesting the sewer bonds, it’s not the whole election and we’re not trying to oust any councilmen,” he said.
He feels the recount totals were close enough to warrant a second opinion. An opinion, that he believes, was already given by the Board of Canvassers.
“Because the canvassers didn’t canvass, the recount should be nullified,” said Broadhead.
Speaking about the recount totals, Broadhead used language similar to the language used by those who favored the first voter-initiated recount, saying “It’s so close (the vote) that we feel like a third party should look at it.”
This time around, however, the third party will be Fourth District Court Judge Samuel McVey.
“We just want it to be done, once and for all,” said Broadhead, echoing similar statements made by other city officials and by Santaquin citizens themselves about the lengthy debate.
Santaquin City officials were unable to comment on the subject for the time being, but a statement is expected sometime next week.
Stay tuned to inSantaquin News coverage for more on this topic as it unfolds.