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Tryon files for recount of votes for Great Falls City Commission - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Tryon files for recount of votes for Great Falls City Commission seat

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Cascade County Commissioners canvased the votes from the November 3rd election (MTN News photo) Cascade County Commissioners canvased the votes from the November 3rd election (MTN News photo)
GREAT FALLS -

Today Cascade County Commissioners canvased the votes from the November 3rd election.

The race for Great Falls City Commission candidates Tracy Houck and Rick Tryon was a close call, and will now go to a recount.

Preliminary numbers showed Houck won by only 7 votes.

When final number were presented to County Commissioners Friday afternoon, it became a 10 vote difference with 6,257 for Houck and 6,247 for Tryon.

Shortly after commissioners accepted the numbers, Tryon filed for a recount. 

Cascade County Clerk and Recorder, Rina Moore explained what it takes to qualify for a recount, “Anything under .25%, a quarter of 1%, is capable of asking for a recount and he is at .08, a 10 vote separation, and so he has filed his petition and we will begin that process next Wednesday morning at 8 am.”

The recount process is expected to take three days and it up to the County Commission to verify each individual ballot.

Tryon requested because with such a small number of votes deciding the race he wants to be absolutely sure.

“Even though they say its 100% accuracy on these machines we know there’s human error as well,” said Tryon. “So we're just going to go through the process and as soon as I and my supporters are satisfied that the whole process was done correctly, and that we have a fair and accurate recount, then we'll accept the results.”

Houck says she is confident in the accuracy of the counting procedures but welcomes a recount to take a second look.

“I do not have any concerns at this point in time,” said Houck. “In listening to the staff and the commissioners speak today, I think we'll have the exact same outcome that we have today next week.”  

However that final outcome will not be certain until County Commissions count all the votes on all 13,384 ballots by hand. 

Tryon also voiced concerns about a ruling against Houck for campaign violations.

The State Commissioner of Political Practices ruled in October that Houck violated campaign finance laws.

Commissioner Jonathan Motl ruled Houck failed to report just under $300 in campaign donations.

The complaint was filed by Don Petrini, one of Houck's opponents in the election.

He claimed Houck originally stated she would not raise or spend money on her campaign.

But, in-kind donations from herself and two others were used to buy Facebook Ads, a campaign photo and other materials amounting to $277.

Houck says once she realized that so-called "in-kind" donations must be reported, she immediately filed an amended campaign finance report.

Houck says it was an oversight and with the help of the Commissioner of Political Practices office, all of her reports are up to date.

Houck could face a small fine, but no other sanctions were issued by the Commissioner.

After Friday’s canvas Tryon and Houck had a heated exchange when Tryon questioned Houck’s integrity because of the violation.

The violation has no impact on the election or the recount.
 

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