Mayville Trustee Race Settled
MAYVILLE — The only race that was too close to call on election night has been certified.
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections announced that Mark Perry and Bill Ward have won trustee races in the village of Mayville. The two, along with incumbent Trustee Eagle Harrington, were vying for the two trustee seats up this year.
Perry received 469 votes and Ward received 314 votes, while Harrington received 306 votes. Perry was endorsed by the Democratic and Republican parties; Ward was endorsed by the Democratic Party; and Harrington was endorsed by the Republican Party.
On election night it was announced that Richard Syper defeated Jean Lobaugh for Mayville mayor. Syper, a Republican, received 315 votes while Lobaugh, who was endorsed by the Democratic Party, received 277 votes.
Syper is currently a trustee and will be leaving that position when he is sworn into office for mayor, leaving a vacancy on the village board. That position is expected to be filled by an appointment and then up for election in November 2023 for the remainder of Syper’s term.
Ward defeated Harrington for the seat by eight votes. On election night it was announced that Ward was up by six votes.
Republican Election Commissioner Brian Abram said the change was a combination of added absentee votes, affidavit votes and recounting by hand.
“There was a hand count that determined that there was one where someone used what we believe was a pencil instead of a marking device to fill in an oval,” he said.
Hand counts are triggered in smaller elections where there are 20 or less votes that separate the two candidates. For larger races, the recounting takes place where there’s less than one half of 1% separating the two candidates.
“In this (Mayville trustee) case, the 20 or less fell into the bracket that we were looking at,” Abram said.
Abram said it’s not too unusual for at least one race every election cycle to require hand recounting.
“Here in Chautauqua County, there always seems to be at least one race and usually there’s multiple races,” he said.
For the affidavit ballots, Abram said those are used where a person believes he/she is registered to vote but for whatever reason isn’t listed in the voting poll books.
“Maybe they’ve moved or there was a name change, or there’s something that just doesn’t actually line up with the voter, so instead of issuing them an Election Day ballot, we issue them an affidavit ballot,” he said.
The names of individuals who have voted using an affidavit ballot are sent to the state Board of Elections to confirm that person has not voted elsewhere in the state.
“A super computer is comparing all individuals from all 62 counties to see if there is like names, like date of births,” he said.