The city will do a recount of votes on two routine ballot questions that were exceptionally close, said Democratic Registrar Bob Badal.
Badal said state law mandates a recount of questions three and four that would, if passed, change the city charter.
Question three, which appears to have passed, would extend the term of the registrar of voters from two years to four years.
Question four, which appears to have fallen short, would create a four-year term for the assistant city clerk and make technical changes to provisions covering the clerk's office.
The state mandates the recount because the vote was so close.
"It's within the guidelines of one half of one percent," said Badal.
The preliminary results showed that question three passed by a 10,678 to 10,070 margin.
On question four, 10,226 voted yes and 10,641 voted no, according to preliminary results.
The two proposals headed for a recount generated no controversy at all during an extensive charter revision process that began last year at City Hall. The Charter Revision Commission unanimously endorsed both changes and city councilors backed them without dissent months ago.
Officials expected both measures to pass overwhelmingly and several expressed surprise when the votes turned out to be so close.
Typically, the city's voters approve by wide margins charter revisions that carry the council's backing.
The recount will be overseen by Mayra Sampson, who was the chief moderator of this year's election, said Badal.
Sampson said there will likely be four ballot counters, two Republican and two Democrat, at the recount.
Badal said he and Republican Registrar Ellie Klapatch will assist Sampson with the recount.
"We will be there," he said.
The recount will start Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m., according to Badal.
About 27,000 votes were cast in the city in the Nov. 4 election, he said.
"It will be by scanners," said Badal. "It's citywide."
But he said the recount will be limited to those two questions and not any other part of the ballot.
Sampson said any ballots that had some kind of flaw – if someone tried to vote for the same candidate on two party lines, such as the Democrats and the Working Families – would have to be recounted by hand.
She said she didn't know how many would have to be counted by hand.
Sampson said both questions were decided by fewer than 100 votes each.
"They're close, but I don't think there's enough to change the outcome," said Sampson.
*******Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com