It took only 55 minutes to dash the hopes of Sun Valley City Council candidate Milt Adam that a vote recount would make his third quest for a two-year council seat successful by defeating incumbent Dave Chase.
The election-night count declaring Chase the winner was confirmed once again.
As Adam sat passively looking on in the virtually empty City Council chambers, election judge Sharon Egan unfolded batches of 10 paper ballots at a time and read names of who received votes, while City Clerk Kelly Ek and election clerk Gayle Moore recoded results with hash marks on a recount sheet as the three women sat at an oblong table near the council entrance.
"Milt," Egan read, then "Dave" and so on until all 483 ballots from the Nov. 6 election were tabulated.
Adam had challenged the seven-vote losing margin—245 to 238—and asked for a recount, which is permitted under Idaho State Statute Title 34 Chapter 23. Adam paid the state a $100 fee.
Two state officials from Boise were assigned to monitor the recount—Deputy Attorney General Mitch Toryanski and Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst.
Standing at a lectern in the rear of the council chambers, Toryanski opened the proceedings at 9:05 a.m. with a dash of formality, recapping the purpose of the recount and Adam's right to request it. He explained he and Hurst would be official monitors and all questions would be answered by him (Toryanski), and that the ballots, once counted, would be returned to a sealed box and placed in the custody of the sheriff until Monday morning, Dec. 3, the deadline for Adam to file an appeal with the district court.
Incumbent Chase attended, but sat at a council desk in the front of the chamber, working on a laptop computer as the recount droned on.
Sitting near Adam with an empty chair between them was Mayor Jon Thorson, reading the Friday edition of the Mountain Express.
Shortly after the count began, election clerk Moore asked for reading glasses. Then, after some 60 ballots had been tabulated, the count was restarted with Toryanksi's approval when there was a one-vote difference between the two ledger sheets.
When the last ballot was counted, Toryanski certified the outcome to be the same as the original vote on Nov. 6.
Adam rose to leave the chamber. When asked if he planned a further appeal, he shook his head and said softly, "No."
As Chase prepared to leave, he commented a "fair and clean" election had been conducted by Sun Valley, pointing out that ballot counting continued until after 11 o' clock election night to ensure accuracy.