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Watertown officials asked to fix city election rules in wake of last year’s primary tie

Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 7:57 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County elections officials are asking Watertown city lawmakers to clarify their elections rules.

A tie for second place in the Watertown mayoral primary last year caused confusion and election gridlock, because city rules didn’t explain what to do.

It eventually took a judge to rule that three candidates should appear on the November ballot.

The request for clarity came in the form of a letter.

Mayor Jeff Smith, who won last year's election against second-place primary finishers Cody Hordacz and Allison Crossman, said at Tuesday night's city council meeting that city officials will work to make the law clearer.

"I've asked for the board of election's bipartisan recommendation," Smith said. "We'll sit down with the city attorney and council members and get some reasonable changes, reforms in and get them off to the state so it can be corrected and any issues in the future hopefully don't come up."

County officials say the last time the law was addressed was in 1992.

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