According to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections, in a New York State election law quirk, village elections are not allowed to fall on St. Patrick’s Day. Since 1998, according to the bill’s original sponsors, New York’s village elections are never to be on St. Patrick’s Day and are to take place a day later to “honor Irish heritage.”
The only time since the bill’s passage that the collision of democracy and Irish celebration has occurred was 2009.
Out of Seven Villages, Only Westfield to Hold Contested Races
According to Abram and Election Commissioner Norman P. Green, the only contested election is happening in the village of Westfield, where incumbent Mayor Michael Vandevelde will be running on the Democratic and Westfield Now lines. He is being opposed for re-election by Richard C. Raynor on the Republican line.
Also, in a vote for any two for village trustee, the choices are incumbent Robert Cochran, Democratic and Westfield Now; Alan Holbrook, Democratic, Republican and Westfield Now; and David Carr, Republican.
The candidates in five other villages are running unopposed:
- Bemus Point Republicans Mayor Bryan Dahlberg, village trustees Margaret Richardson and Chris Wright.
- Cassadaga Progressive Party village trustee candidates Joshua Slaven and Amanda Kalfas
- Sinclairville Helping Hands Party mayor candidate Tami Berg and vote for any two trustee candidates John Embury on the Helping Hands Party and Patricia France on the Restoration Party.
- Cherry Creek Republican trustees John F. Lukaszewski and Bruce W. Hendricks
- Sherman People’s Party Mayor John R. Patterson and vote for any two trustees James Weise on the People’s and Donna Higginbotham on the Citizens First Party.
No Candidate for Panama Village Trustee
In another local 2015 oddity, the 308 registered voters in the village of Panama will have an election for one village trustee, but no name will be listed on the ballot.
“Panama’s Mayor Charles Loveland called and said he couldn’t raise any interest for the elective position,” said Election Commissioner Brian Abram. “Hopefully someone’s name, who wants to take the job, will be written in by voters on Election Day. It’s a small village and there are just two trustees and a mayor.”
Elections for All Other Villages Scheduled for November
The remaining eight Chautauqua County Villages have moved elections to coincide with November 3rd 2015 and future General Elections, with Panama and Sherman also scheduled to join the November schedule in 2016.
Polling sites for the March 18 village elections will be open Noon to 9 p.m. Absentee ballot applications and sample ballots are available at votechautauqua.com for elections conducted by the Board of Elections.
Absentee ballot applications must be received at the Board of Elections, 7 North Erie Street, Mayville 14757 no later than March 11 by mail or by March 17 with in person absentee application delivery at the election office.
Sinclairville and Cassadaga village clerks conduct their own elections separate from the Board of Elections.