Count starts today on about 5,000 absentee ballots

Photo by Tom Rivers: Beth Schmidt, an elections inspector at left, assists with the election and primary last Tuesday at Hoag Library in Albion. Last week about 3,600 did in-person voting in the county. That was less than the number of people who voted with absentee ballots.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2020 at 10:22 am

ALBION – The Board of Elections has begun counting about 5,000 absentee ballots. Those ballots are more than the 3,607 ballots cast in person through early voting and then during the primary and special election on June 23.

The governor pushed early voting to keep people safer during the Covid-19 pandemic. There was a big response in the county with absentees, with more than 20 percent of the county’s 23,111 active voters using an absentee ballot.

It may take a few days for the Board of Elections to count them all.

• The absentees will give clarity in the special election for the 27th Congressional District. Chris Jacobs has a big lead over Nate McMurray in a district that includes eight counties.

Jacobs also has a lead in a Republican primary with Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw.

• There are also absentees for the Democratic presidential primary. Joe Biden has a lock on the nomination after his main competitor, Bernie Sanders, conceded in April.

Only 484 voted in person for the primary out of 5,167 registered Democrats in the county. The Board of Elections received 1,276 requests for absentee ballots from Democrats.

Biden so far has 338 votes to 67 for Sanders. There are nine other names on the ballot and with Elizabeth Warren having the most votes, 18, of those nine.

• In Orleans County races, there is a close contest for Orleans County clerk, with Diane Shampine holding a slight lead over Nadine Hanlon in the Republican primary. Shampine has 1,083 votes to Hanlon’s 1,029 with in-person voting. There are at least 1,270 absentee ballots to be counted for that race.

Locally, there are contested races for Republican committees in Ridgeway and Murray.

• In Ridgeway, there are three candidates for two positions with District 2 on the Ridgeway Republican Committee. The candidates include Virginia Nicholson, David Stalker and Ayesha Kreutz.

Nicholson leads with 24 votes, followed by 22 for Stalker, and 16 for Kreutz.

• In Murray, there are primaries for three of the districts, with three candidates seeking two positions in District 3, District 5 and District 6.

In District 3, the candidates include Kathleen Case, Anthony Peone and Kerri Neale. Neale leads with 28 votes, followed by 18 for Peone and 17 for Case.

In District 5, the candidates include Lynn Wood, Cynthia Oliver and Ronald Vendetti. Oliver has 42, followed by 41 for Wood and 12 for Vendetti.

In District 6, the candidates include Kellie Gregoire, Robert Miller and Adam R. Moore. Moore leads with 47, followed by 35 for Gregoire and 25 for Miller.

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