“Even though there may be a new tally at the end of the day on Thursday, given how close it is, there are still options for either side,” Kezer said. “Any unsettled ballots from this process will have to be decided at the court level.”
Both candidates are expected to have the maximum number of observers allowed in the recount area at any given time, and Gray said he plans on having more than 20 people at City Hall to rotate through in order to prevent fatigue.
Gray added that he also expects City Hall to be packed throughout the day by supporters of each candidate as well.
“I don’t know how many of my people will be there, but I expect a lot of people will,” Gray said. “This has been the talk of the town.”
If the final result of the election winds up being a tie, a special election would be needed to settle the issue once and for all. Both candidates said they would prefer it not come to that, and Gray said the whole situation is a testament to how important each individual vote can be.
“I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me to say, ‘my two votes got you over the top,’” Gray said. “People now know that their vote mattered, and it’s a positive for the future that people realize how important their vote can be.”
Gray said he is confident the results will hold, despite the razor-thin margin separating him from Kezer. While it’s impossible to predict the results of the recount, there is precedent in Amesbury history to suggest that that a decisive number of votes may be swung.
Joseph Faro, who was defeated by David Hildt in the tightly contested 2001 mayoral election, participated in a recount after the original tally had him a couple dozen votes behind Hildt. While the recount didn’t overturn the result of the election, Faro did pick up eight votes in the process.