Gary Cloutier, who lost the Vallejo mayoral bid by three votes to Osby Davis, said during a press conference today that he plans to contest the results of the manual recount, alleging that it was tainted by “human manipulation and malicious meddling.”
In a letter sent to the Solano County Board of Supervisors, Cloutier urged supervisors not to certify the results of the recount at their Wednesday meeting, citing an alleged five-vote discrepancy between the machine-counted votes and the manual count-enough votes to tip the final tally in Davis' favor.
Cloutier was certified as mayor on Dec. 4.
Patrick Farrell, a Vallejo resident who observed the manual recount on Cloutier's behalf, said that he personally saw a two-vote discrepancy between the machine-counted votes for the precinct he was observing and the manual count. He said there was another two-vote discrepancy in the tally of a second precinct.
Cloutier alleged that a ballot with a vote for him was found in a garbage can inside one of the recount rooms, allegedly accounting for the fifth missing ballot.
Farrell said he observed chaos in the room where ballots were being manually counted.
“Ballots were all over the place, on the floor, on tables, people were grabbing them from each other,” Farrell said.
“I don't believe it was an accurate count,” Farrell said.
“He ain't nothing but a sore loser,” a heckler said during the press conference.
“The fact that a vote was found in an envelope (in the garbage) throws the entire recount into question,” Kim White, a community activist, said.
In his letter to county supervisors, Cloutier listed a number of other alleged procedural improprieties in the way the recount was carried out, including the fact that many of the people conducting the recount were Vallejo residents and that one of the counters was allegedly seen having lunch with one of Davis' observers.
Cloutier said that if county supervisors certify the results of the recount, he plans to file an appeal.
“I'm here to make sure this process is fair and accurate,” Cloutier said.
Representatives for Davis did not attend the press conference.