PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
DATE: November 9, 2011
RE: Cedar Hills Council candidates announce intent to request a ballot recount.
2011 Cedar Hills City Council candidates Jerry Dearinger, Paul Sorensen, and Ken Cromar announce that they will be respectfully requesting a recount of the ballots in last night’s election, due to signed reports by their certified and legally authorized poll count watchers of questionable circumstances during the counts.
This hotly contested campaign saw high voter turnout, and a final count which resulted in two candidates within 35 and 39 votes of victory, in a vote where 1,939 ballots were cast in a city of less than 10,000 residents, creating a difference of less than 2%.
The Dearinger / Sorensen / Cromar legally authorized poll count watchers reported that they could not see the actual ballots being counted, and cannot confirm or verify that there was an accurate count of Cedar Hills votes. This is the purpose of having poll count watchers. Our legally authorized poll count watchers, in signed statements, said they were told that they had to stand away and only listen to the counts.
“Sounds like they were being instructed to be ‘poll listeners’, not ‘poll watchers’. If you’re not allowed to see the ballots, and are only authorized to listen, this certainly defeats the purpose of ‘watchers’ doesn’t it?,” said candidate Ken Cromar.
Additionally, in two of the four Precincts the vote counters were City employees (husband and wife Gretchen and Greg Gordon) who were counting ballots, as well as poll workers who were wives of two sitting Councilmen.
Also, one of the poll counters, city employee Gretchen Gordon, is a board member for the Cedars HOA (Home Owners Association), which sent out an email to HOA members asking them to vote for the opposition team of Gary Gygi, Jenney Rees and Trent Augustus. Coincidentally, this team was also endorsed by the Mayor and all the City Councilmembers. (email below and photos available)
According to Utah County Chief Deputy Clerk Auditor Scott Hoganson, while not technically illegal to have family of officials or City employees act as election officials, he said he has “repeatedly advised all city recorders” to not do so, saying “just pay the $50” for a unbiased observer, so as to avoid creating even the appearance of impropriety.
While the official request for a recount cannot be made until the canvas is declared official by the Cedar Hills City Recorder (November 15th deadline), the candidates have chosen to immediately announce their request for a recount via this PRESS RELEASE to inform Cedar Hills residents of the questionable election activities surrounding their own votes.
Candidates Dearinger / Sorensen / Cromar report that many residents have expressed to them concern for the level of ethics and honesty in their city government. A number of residents reported to them that they were “alarmed”, “disgusted”, and “disappointed” to read the public admissions of dishonesty by government officials as quoted in their own words by a Daily Herald Sunday Special Report, just prior to the election. In the article titled “Money Trap in Cedar Hills”, and two sidebar articles, “Double Speak in Cedar Hills,” and “Golf Course Timeline”, numerous quotes by Mayor Eric Richardson, City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt, and City Councilman Jim Perry are documented. (see links below)
In the article City officials appear to have said one thing, then had the facts presented to them, and reluctantly admitted to have misinformed the citizens of golf course “cash flow” profitability and various other claims, in an apparent effort to affect the primary and general election vote.
“Unfortunately, knowing what we now know surrounding the questionable counting of citizens’ sacred votes, we believe that the integrity of the vote should be immediately verified by a new count. In order to restore public trust in the process, we hope this recount can be done with our poll count watchers present, and this time actually be allowed to observe the ballots being counted,” said candidate Paul Sorensen.
“While we are not making any allegations, I would think that reasonable City Council and Election Officials interested in citizen confidence surrounding their stewardship, would also want an immediate, open, transparent recount confirmation,” said candidate Jerry Dearinger.
For questions please contact Cedar Hills candidates:
“Money Trap in Cedar Hills”
“Double Speak in Cedar Hills”
“Golf Course Timeline”
For email to HOA members, see below…
Also, the Daily Herald Editorial Board offered up Cedar Hills as an example of “what not to do”, and reminded citizens to get out and vote…
IN OUR VIEW
Golf course’s sobering lesson
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011