Wade wins by three votes

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In the District IV Socorro Electric Cooperative election, held Saturday at San Antonio Elementary School, David Wade, trustee incumbent, won the trustee seat against opponent Gayl Dorr by three votes.

After the votes were tallied, including 47 mail-in votes, Wade came in with 122 votes and Dorr received 119. One-hundred-ninety-six people were on hand to vote Saturday.

During the afternoon meeting held at San Antonio Elementary School Saturday, registration and voting was closed at 5 p.m. to begin the proceedings and count the votes. The meeting was called to order by Wade, as the current district trustee. The first tense moments occurred as a chairman was elected by a hand count vote.

Dennis Harris was declared the winner over William Bottorf. Harris chose Eileen Latasa as the secretary for the proceedings.

The candidates were introduced, but Dorr was not present at the meeting because it was announced she had a family matter to take care of. After the co-op trustees, general manager and employees were introduced, the number of members registered at the meeting was announced in order to determine the existence of a quorum. With 196 people registered at the meeting, the requirement of 58 for a quorum was easily met.

The reading of the notice of the meeting and proof of publication was waived by a vote, but the members did not waive the reading of the minutes from the last meeting for the district that took place on Oct. 3, 2008. In 2008, Wade won the vote by 104 to 50.

Next on the agenda was a report of the trustees of the district which, Wade said, he would not give since his opponent was not present to give hers.

When the election results were announced there were both cheers and heckles from the audience, some voices raised asking for a recount.

The 47 mail-in votes were recounted and there were no changes in the overall balance.

"You folks got what you wanted," Wade said. "You folks asked for this. You paid 20,000 dollars of co-op money to get outside vote counting."

Wade then called for a motion to accept the results of the vote. After a hand-count failed through confusion, voters were asked to stand up to either approve or reject the motion to accept the results. When vote counters again were unable to get accurate counts with that method, the chairman said it was too confusing and the vote had been made anyway.

During a comment period one woman stood up to say, "I did notice there were people voting (for the motion to accept the vote) without stamps on their hands."

Registered voting co-op members had been stamped upon registration.

Then Wade began reading the tickets for the door prizes the co-op had provided for the event and distributing the prizes, some in cash.

Wade's office as trustee begins again on Jan. 1, 2013, for the next four-year term.

This is the first election since the co-op redistricting took place April 17 during the annual co-op members meeting. During redistricting District IV went from around 600 people to around 2,000 people.