The most closely contested election in Monroe County is finally over. To be counted, all absentee ballots postmarked by November 2, 2015 must be received by the Board of Elections by November 10, 2015. On Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 PM, the staff at the Monroe County Board of Elections opened the absentee ballots, tabulated the total votes, and then announced the results.
As usually happens, the absentee ballots changed the vote totals, but didn’t change the results. As one person at the Board of Elections put it; “There wasn’t enough paper to change the results.”
On election night, in the race for Town Supervisor, Republican Rob Carges led Democrat Annie Crane by 64 votes. Carges received 1,161 votes while Crane received 1,097 votes. There were only about 80 absentee ballot still to be counted, so it was highly unlikely that the absentee ballots would swing the election.
However, it was a different story in the races for Town Council. There were four candidates running for the two Town Council seats; two Republicans and two Democrats. On the Democratic side, Lori Skoog received 1,174 votes and Mary Rich received 1,117 votes. Republican Don Roberts received 1,094 votes, and Republican Peter “not so” Sharpe received 1,081 votes.
That meant that Sharpe trailed Lori Skoog by 93 votes, and with only about 80 absentee ballots to be counted, there was no doubt that Lori Skoog had been elected. The only question that remained was who had won the other Town Council seat.
At the end of Election night, Mary Rich led Don Roberts by 23 votes, and she led Peter Sharpe by 36 votes. Consequently, there was a possibility that the absentee ballots could decide the election.
So Mary Rich couldn’t sit back and relax. She found it hard to sleep because she didn’t know if she had won or if the absentee ballots would give the election to Roberts or Sharpe. On the Republican side, Roberts and Sharpe still had a faint hope that the absentee ballots would swing the election to one of them.
“There wasn’t enough paper to change the results.”
But when the absentee ballots were counted and the results were announced, nothing had changed. That’s the way it usually is, but when the election is too close to call, you never can tell.
In the race for Supervisor, Rob Carges received 12 absentee votes and Annie Crane received 16 absentee votes. So the final tally was Carges 1,173 votes while Crane received 1,113 votes.
In the race for Town Council, Mary Rich received 16 absentee votes, Don Roberts received 11 absentee votes, and Peter “not so” Sharpe received received 12 absentee votes. So the final tally was 1,133 votes for Mary Rich, 1,105 votes for Roberts, and 1,093 votes for Sharpe.
In the end, the absentee ballots didn’t change the outcome. All they did was cost Mary Rich a good night’s sleep. But she handled the situation with class. Now she can get a good night’s sleep.