Tiverton voters recall Coulter, Katz

'Don't vote' defense results in lopsided outcome

Posted 10/10/19

TIVERTON — Tiverton voters have handed Town Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz the first recall in town history.

Just before 9 p.m., the count for Mr. …

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Tiverton voters recall Coulter, Katz

'Don't vote' defense results in lopsided outcome

Posted

TIVERTON — Tiverton voters have handed Town Council President Robert Coulter, and Vice President Justin Katz, the first recall in town history.

At around 9 p.m., the count for Mr. Coulter was 1,461 for recall, 60 against. The outcome won't be official until it is certified by the town Board of Canvassers.

For Mr. Katz, the tally was 1,457 for recall, 64 against.

There are 143 mail ballots still to count, but they cannot change the outcome.

Supporters of both had gambled on a strategy of urging voters who oppose recall to stay away from the polls. Most apparently followed that advice.

For the recall push to succeed, the number of votes cast needed to be at least 40 percent of the number of votes each candidate won last November when they were elected — and the majority would of those votes would need to be in favor of recall.

In Mr. Coulter’s case, that 40 percent threshold was 808 votes; in Mr. Katz’s case, the total required would be 940 votes.

That prompted dueling strategies. Those favoring recall urged voters to turn out and be counted. Allies of Mr. Katz and Mr. Coulter recommended skipping the whole thing.

Town Clerk Nancy Mello said beforehand that if the recall succeeds, the seats now held by Mr. Katz and Mr. Coulter would go to those who were the next highest vote getters in the last election (the two who came in eighth and ninth place).

They are Stephen T. Clarke who got 2,003 votes (17 fewer than seventh place finisher Coulter), and John G. Edwards V who won 1,949 votes. Mr Coulter and Mr. Katz would both be eligible to run again in the November, 2020, election.

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