Unofficially, there has been no change in the two city ward election results after absentee ballots were counted Monday.
According to the county Board of Election's website, Brent Sheldon holds on to his lead in the race against Tara Hall. After the absentee ballots were counted, Sheldon had 356 votes to Hall's 344. Prior to the absentee ballot count, Sheldon had 328 votes while Hall had 300. Sheldon was a candidate for the Republican and Conservative parties. Hall was running on the Democratic and Independent Taxpayers party lines. Norm Green, Democratic election commissioner, said no absentee ballots were objected to on Monday.
However, that was not the case for the Ward 3 race. Of the 47 ballots reviewed during the count, 14 were objected to and not tallied. After counting the absentee ballots that were accepted, Tamara Dickey held on to her short lead over Regina Brackman. Dickey has 225 votes while Brackman received 221. Following Election Day, Dickey had 208 votes while Brackman had 205. Dickey ran on the Republican and Conservative party lines. Brackman received the Democratic Party endorsement.
Green said 12 of the unaccepted ballots were not fully marked and two ballots were objected to because they were not scanned on Election Day.
''For 12 of them, the mark on the ballot didn't cover the circle,'' Green said. ''Two of them were unscanned ballots. The voter went to the poll, and the ballot wasn't able to be scanned.''
Green said he was surprised by some of the objected ballots. He said the objections came from both sides of the race. Green said the candidates have three days to bring court action in the race if they would want judicial intervention to determine the election results.
If no court action is taken, the county Board of Election will count the votes again on Friday and add the absentee ballots to the tallies from Election Day. Green said the results still will not be official at this point. He said the results will become official during the certification process, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27.
If the results remain the same, the Republican Party will gain two more seats on the nine-member council. City Council already has two Republican members, Anthony Dolce, Ward 2, and Kimberly Ecklund, At-Large. The council still has a Democrat Party majority: Gregory Rabb, City Council president and At-Large; George Spitale, At-Large; Maria Jones, Ward 5; Paul Whitford, Ward 6; and Marie Carrubba, Ward 4 who was elected to council for the first time on Election Day. Carrubba was appointed to City Council earlier this year after former Ward 4 Councilman Vince DeJoy was appointed to be the city's development director.
OTHER ABSENTEE BALLOT COUNT RESULTS
There were two other races that had absentee ballots counted Monday. One was for the Gerry highway superintendent race. Republican and Conservative party candidate Brian Anderson still has more votes, with 331, than Mark Risley, who has 308 votes. Risley, who ran on the Independence Party line, had 293 votes and Anderson had 300 prior to the absentee ballots being counted.
In Hanover, Richard Saletta still has the lead over Edward Schintzius for the town justice position. After absentee ballots were counted, Saletta had 738 votes and Schintzius had 684.