Enough absentee ballots have been received in the two races for Jamestown City Council to possibly change the results from Election Day.
On Nov. 4, the City Council votes for Ward 1 and Ward 3 were so close that an official winner could not be declared before opening absentee ballots. The ballots will be opened at 1 p.m. Monday at the county Board of Elections in Mayville.
In Ward 1, Brent Sheldon has a 28-vote lead over Tara Hall after Election Day. In this race, 141 absentee ballots were sent to potential voters. So far, Brian Abram, county Republican election commissioner, said the Board of Elections has received 67 returned ballots. Also, there are three absentee ballots mailed to military personnel that have not been returned yet, but still could arrive given the extra time possibly needed to be mailed back to the Board of Elections from overseas. Sheldon so far has received 328 votes while Hall has received 300. Sheldon was a candidate for the Republican and Conservative parties. Hall was running on the Democratic and Independent Taxpayers party lines.
In Ward 3, Tamara Dickey has a three-vote lead over Regina Brackman. In this contest, 79 absentee ballots were sent out with 39 returning to the Board of Elections. On Election Day, Dickey received 208 votes and Brackman had 205. Dickey ran on the Republican and Conservative party lines. Brackman received the Democratic Party endorsement.
Abram said each candidate was sent a letter from the Board of Elections detailing they are allowed to attend the opening of the ballots. Each candidate can be accompanied by a representative, such as an attorney, during the process. So far, Abram said he has only heard from Sheldon, who will be attending the absentee ballot opening. Norm Green, Democratic election commissioner, said he has not heard from any candidates about attending the absentee ballot opening.
Abram said each candidate will have the opportunity to look over each absentee ballot during the process. He said the Board of Elections would like to open all the ballots for both candidates on Monday. For this year's absentee ballot counting, Abram said the Board of Elections has a new electronic machine to tally the votes instead of it being done by hand.
"It counts them just like at a poll site," he said. "It is an optical scan voting machine that has one purpose - to tally votes for absentee ballots."