In the First Ward, where things seemed pretty much decided on primary day, with Rick Rector getting 77 votes, Michael O'Hara 40, and Nick Haddad 33, the six absentee ballots counted today didn't alter the outcome. All six voters who voted absentee voted for Rector; two also voted for O'Hara, and two for Haddad. Gossips' final, albeit unofficial tally in the First Ward is: Rector 83; O'Hara 42; Haddad 35.
In the Fourth Ward, Rich Volo and Lauren Scalera ended last Thursday only one vote apart. What remained to be counted were two affidavit ballots, cast by people who had moved within the city and not changed their voter registration in time, and twenty-one absentee ballots. Because of a challenge, the affidavit ballots were set aside, and this morning, Victor Mendolia, on behalf of candidate Volo, challenged eleven of the absentee ballots. One was challenged because the voter's signature on the application for the absentee ballot did not match the signature on record; the other ten were challenged because the voters, all residents of the Firemen's Home, did not, according to the ward boundaries defined in the city charter, reside in the Fourth Ward.
It will remembered that when the discrepancies between the ward boundaries as defined in the city charter and the boundaries used in practice were discovered, the Common Council requested that the Board of Elections amend their boundaries to reflect the charter. Both commissioners--Virginia Martin for the Democrats and Jason Nastke for the Republicans--must agree to do this for it to happen, and Nastke refused. The Council passed a resolution to file an Article 78 lawsuit against the county to force Nastke to comply, but Mayor William Hallenbeck vetoed the resolution. Council support for the resolution eroded, and there were not enough votes to override the mayor's veto.
Because of the challenges, the two affidavit ballots and eleven of the absentee ballots were set aside. When the ten ballots that remained were opened and counted, Scalera picked up eight votes, Volo two, and Alexis Keith, the incumbent who was the front runner on primary night, added seven. The unofficial count in the Fourth Ward is at this point: Keith 59; Scalera 44; Volo 39.
|Rick Scalera observing the count at the Board of Elections this morning|