Recount is complete: Kunselman officially defeats Greden by six-vote margin in Ann Arbor City Council race
Six votes separated Stephen Kunselman from Leigh Greden after initial results were reported earlier this month in the Ann Arbor City Council Democratic primary election.
Today, that number still stands. Kunselman has ousted Greden from his seat by a vote count of 511-505.
Stacks of ballots from the 3rd Ward race were recounted one by one in the basement of the Washtenaw County annex building in downtown Ann Arbor this morning. The results showed one change from those earlier this month: LuAnne Bullingon, the lowest vote getter, picked up one vote and increased her tally to 382.
Kunselman was not present, but his wife, Letitia, and attorney Tom Wieder were there on his behalf with other supporters.
"Steve would have been here except for he's taking his son to college," said Letitia Kunselman. "We're excited. I think the residents of the 3rd Ward have won in this."
Greden exchanged pleasantries and congratulated Letitia Kunselman after the recount was finished. He acknowledged going into it that the odds were against him, but said he went through with the recount at the urging of his supporters.
"For an election this close, it was important to my supporters to ensure accuracy of the outcome and the process worked," Greden said. "I congratulated Letitia Kunselman, who is here on behalf of Steve and I wished her and Steve my best."
The recount got underway at 9:09 a.m. and was finished by about 10:50 a.m. The names of candidates were read aloud as clerks made note of each vote on a set of tally sheets.
The four members of the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers were present, overseeing the recount. They included Melodie Gable, Wes Vivian, Kim Porter-Hoppe and Ulla Roth.
Also in attendance - a team of tally clerks and representatives from each candidate's campaign.
In Greden's corner were five representatives: City Councilmen Christopher Taylor and Tony Derezinski, County Commissioner Leah Gunn and friends Diane Giannola and Joan Lowenstein.
"My guess is there's no change," Wieder said at the start of the recount, his predictions later proving true. "This is such a clean set of ballots. And there were so few unaccounted for ballots, which is where you usually make up something in a recount."
Others said the same.
"It's a standard recount," said Gable, chairwoman of the Board of Canvassers. "In all honesty, most recounts don't change elections, but people have a right to ask for a recount for verification, and it's important that everybody is satisfied."
Kunselman, a former 3rd Ward city councilman, now advances to the November general election unopposed.
Photos by Ryan Stanton, AnnArbor.com. Photo 1: Supporters of Leigh Greden and Stephen Kunselman watch over as clerks tally vote recounts in the 3rd Ward City Council primary race. Photo 2: Election officials separate counted ballots by precinct. Shown here are ballots from precincts 4 and 7, which were consolidated. Photo 3: Greden compares notes with supporter Joan Lowenstein during the recount.
Ryan Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.