Although the recount resulted in an identical four vote margin in favor of the collective agreement, they were not the same four votes because the overall number of total votes changed in the recount.
The March 22 recount took place at the Middle School cafeteria. Coffee, water and muffins were served. Each town had a table behind which was seated four ballot counters, two were school board members, two were paid individuals. Either in front or behind each table were two observers who volunteered their time in the service of the petitioners of the recount. (Thank you, observers!) There was also a police officer from each town present presumably to protect the ballots.
First the sealed boxes were opened. Then the yellow school ballots were separated from the white town ballots. After this the ballots were sorted into piles of 25 and counted. Then the ballots were separated into “Yes”, “No,” “Blanks,” and “Questionable” piles. Observers could challenge a ballot if they felt it was placed in the wrong pile.
The questionable ballots were voted on by the recount board which consisted of all the school board members (minus myself), the school district moderator, and the school district clerk. Their job was to determine if the ballot clearly showed the voter’s intention. There were a small number of questionable ballots at three tables that I saw, possibly at all of them.
After the ballots were all sorted, they were again separated into piles of 25 by “yes” and “no” and then counted again. The moderator announced the results by overall number. The SAU posted the results by town shortly thereafter. http://wp.timberlane.net/blog/2014/03/results-of-ballot-recount/
For those who feel the recount was a waste of tax dollars let me say that every town had a change in final vote.
Plaistow plus 11 YES, plus 12 NO
Atkinson plus 1 YES, minus 2 NO
Danville 0 change YES, plus 2 NO
Sandown plus 1 YES, plus 1 NO
In total there were 26 more votes counted in the recount but the overall split between the yes and no was even leaving the original four vote split the same.
Though I would have wished for a clearer explanation of the rules and the procedure at the start of the morning, the moderator conducted himself with great integrity throughout the morning and the recount gave no one reason to doubt the final result. The voters have spoken and been heard.