UPDATE: 5:21 PM
LIVINGSTON COUNTY — The seesawing contest for the Republican nomination for District Attorney entered a new phase Friday, with the release of Supreme Court Judge John Ark’s decision on six contested absentee ballots, apparently bringing the contest, yet again, to a tie.
The race between challenger Steve Sessler and the Republican Party’s committee-endorsed candidate, Eric Schiener, was tied at an earlier point, after the original counting of absentee ballots last week. However, a miscount by Board of Elections staff, announced Thursday by the Schiener campaign, seemed to put Schiener ahead by one vote. With that factored in, Judge Ark’s decision on the six ballots that were contested during the recount apparently restores the election to an exact tie.
Attorneys and candidates for both campaigns are taking a closer look at the Judge’s ruling, and the Sessler camp may be considering a challenge to the miscount. At this point, the only thing certain is that it’s still a very, very close election, with no clear winner in sight.
If the count and challenges eventually produce an official tie, then the court’s interpretation of election law is that the matter will go back to the County’s Republican Party committee for a final decision, In such a scenario, Party committee members, apparently, will have the final say.
The Livingston County Republican Committee has scheduled an open vote this Monday, at the the Board of Supervisors room at 7:30 PM.
Justice Ark’s ruling:
BALLOT 1: post dated by a poll worker, to be accepted and unsealed at a later day (speculation is that this is a Schiener vote).
BALLOT 2: stray mark on ballot, but vote is for Steve Sessler, accepted into vote.
BALLOT 3: filled in box with check mark under Steve Sessler, accepted into vote.
BALLOT 4: cross mark und Schiener but no mark in box, vote is not to be counted.
BALLOTS 5 and 6: evelopes were unsealed and not to be counted.
Current total vote count with one ballot still remaining:
ERIC SCHIENER: 1,880
STEVE SESSLER: 1,881