Butler wants hand recount in tied mayoral primary

wwny Butler wants hand recount in tied mayoral primary

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown Mayor Joe Butler says city council may vote on a resolution seeking a hand recount of the ballots in the tied mayoral primary.

Butler expressed his wishes to Republican Jefferson County Board of Elections Commissioner Jude Seymour on Tuesday.

Allison Crossman and Cody Horbacz are tied after last month’s primary, leaving it up in the air as to who will face top vote-getter Jeff Smith in November’s general election.

The city's election law isn't clear on what to do in the case of a tie and the board of elections commissioners disagree on how to move forward. They've said unless someone takes legal action, no one will appear on the ballot.

Butler says he told Seymour if they need direction from city council, then council will provide it.

Butler says the potential game plan is to have a resolution for council members to vote on at their Monday meeting. Butler expects the resolution will say to do a manual recount.

Someone else who agrees with Mayor Butler is chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators Scott Gray. However, Gray stresses the county doesn’t have a position in all this.

“Probably the simplest, probably most efficient thing to do right off the bat and the mayor and I conclude on that would be to do a hand recount,” said Gray. “But you know the bottom line is a recount, let’s not be naive about the situation, a recount will land in court just as quick.”

If the race is still tied after a recount, Butler says council’s resolution will provide a recommendation on how to proceed. He says that could either be put all 3 candidates on the ballot or hold a runoff election.

It’s unclear what weight city council’s action may have.

Candidate Cody Horbacz serves on city council now and Mayor Butler says Horbacz will not be able to vote on the resolution. Horbacz has said he also wants a recount.

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