State Supreme Court Judge Issues Order In Cape Vincent Elections


Two weeks after Election Day, the races for Cape Vincent's town offices are still up in the air.

State Supreme Court Judge James McClusky has now ordered the Jefferson County Board of Elections to preserve 99 absentee votes and make rulings on each one.

The order is in response to a legal challenge filed by three Democratic candidates:

- town supervisor candidate Alan Wood
- town council candidate Dennis Pearson
- town council candidate Paul Aubertine

The challenge was filed against the Board of Elections as well as the Republican candidate for town supervisor, Urban Hirschey, and GOP town council candidates Brooks Bragdon and Michelle Oswald.

The absentee ballots are critical to the outcome of the race because many of them could be from seasonal residents who are likely to favor Republican candidates because of their opposition to wind power.

On election night, Wood was leading Hirschey 501 to 426.

For the town council, the results were as follows:

- Paul Aubertine 542
- Brooks Bragdon 406
- Dennis Pearson 497
- Michelle Oswald 386 

There were more than 300 absentee ballots to count on election night.

The Board of Elections has been ordered to specifically lock away 11 absentee ballots and 88 absentee ballot envelopes which have been contested.

Board of Elections officials must make rulings on the validity of the votes, record their rulings and present them to Judge McClusky by November 26.

The judge will then determine which absentee votes are valid.

However, the outcome might still be up in the air.

Theoretically, the judge's decision could be appealed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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