Winchester election board declares McKiernan victor; Taylor requests recount

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Although the 4th ward of the Winchester City Council race was called for Democrat Judy McKiernan on election night, it took a full week for the city’s election board to confirm her victory.

But Republican candidate Debera Taylor is now asking for a recount of the ballots cast, in order to ensure that every vote is counted.

“I believe Judy and I both ran a good race,” said Taylor. “The results are just three votes apart.”

Taylor received 1,108 votes, while McKiernan received 1,111. 

Taylor says her supporters encouraged her to request a recount since the race was so close, and McKiernan says she’s fine with her opponent making the request. 

“Asking for a recount is completely understandable,” said McKiernan. “Three votes. There’s a lot riding in terms of the city council.” 

Taylor and McKiernan say there was some confusion on election night between votes being counted late and concern over provisional ballots.

Two provisional ballots were cast in the race, although neither wound up being accepted.

“The Frederick Douglas results were coming in late from the rest of the results, and there was already some swirling assumptions of ‘what’s wrong with Frederick Douglas, why’s it so late?'” said Taylor. But she stressed that there was no form of fraud at play, just concern over the timeline. “There’s no, you know, underhandedness.”

Both candidates agree there is no animosity in the race or the recount.

“Whether she wins or I win, it’s going to be better for the city,” said McKiernan. “That’s what matters.”

Taylor agreed, adding, “if the outcome is the same, then I’ll continue to support the city in other ways and be involved in other ways as I already am.”

Taylor expects to file the associated paperwork next week and get the ball rolling on the recount. She does not expect the cost of the recount to impact tax-payers, as she says it will cost less than $2,000.

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