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Malta supervisor race going to court

In city, absentees let Mathiesen retain win

Friday, November 15, 2013
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— A state Supreme Court judge will hear arguments Wednesday concerning whether to count the remaining unopened absentee ballots in the tight Malta town supervisor’s race, which is too close to call.

Attorneys for Town Supervisor Paul Sausville and Democratic challenger Cynthia Young on Friday got a stay from state Supreme Court Justice Robert Chauvin, preventing the opening of the 23 contested ballots until that hearing.

Either Judge Ann Crowell or Chauvin will hear the case Wednesday, depending on trial schedules.

Young currently holds a four-vote lead over Sausville with all machine votes and about 90 absentee ballots counted. The tight margin means the unopened absentee ballots are critical to the final outcome.

Wednesday also will be after the final deadline for military ballots to arrive from overseas, and any of those could become part of the case, too.

The unopened ballots were those objected to by one of the attorneys during the initial count of absentee ballots Wednesday at the Saratoga County Board of Elections.

Sausville, a Republican, is seeking his fifth two-year term and could become chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors in 2014 should he win re-election. His loss would be an upset, since Malta’s voter enrollment strongly favors the Republicans.

In the only other race in Saratoga County close enough to make the absentee count interesting, Democrat Christian E. Mathiesen has won re-election as Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner.

With all ballots counted by the Board of Elections as of Friday afternoon, Mathiesen’s lead over Republican Richard C. Wirth had shrunk from 91 votes to about 59, but he won, according to James Walsh of Schenectady, the attorney who represented the Republican Party during the count. Wirth is the former public safety commissioner whom Mathiesen defeated two years ago.

Mathiesen’s win means there will be four Democrats, including mayor-elect Joanne Yepsen, on the Saratoga Springs City Council next year. Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco will be the only Republican.

 
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