San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Manual Recount Yields New Municipal Results

Those who believe manual recounts are just a formality – or that a few voters can’t make a difference – would be hardpressed to account for this week’s events in Oreamuno de Cartago, east of San José.

Preliminary results in last week’s municipal elections gave a mayoral victory to incumbent Walter Granados of the National Union Party (PUN) by a 0.8% margin. However, when Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) personnel reviewed the ballots from Oreamuno as part of the official manual count – which began Dec. 5 and is expected to finish Dec. 22 – they determined that Marco Redondo of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) is the winner, according to the daily La Nación.

His margin of victory? Seven votes. In Oreamuno, where 27,124 citizens are eligible to vote but only 6,780 showed up Dec. 3 for the elections, Redondo received 2,257 votes and Granados 2,250.

If the latest results hold, the PUN-PAC change brings Citizen Action’s mayoral total to five. The National Liberation Party (PLN) was the big winner last week, gaining 59 of 81 mayoral seats.

Voters also chose new district council members, but preliminary counts for those races were not conducted. The TSE will announce the results once the manual count is completed (TT, Dec. 8).

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