MAYVILLE – In a reversal of what was reported on Election Night, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections has declared the Jamestown City Council At Large race, along with three other races, too close to call.
“As the dust from election night settles, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections has determined that we have four races are too close to call,” reported Norm Green in an email sent out to the media on Wednesday afternoon.
Initially near the end of Election Night, Green had told WRFA that there were no races in Jamestown too close to call, but added on Wednesday that was said “at first blush.”
In the Jamestown City Council at Large race, four candidates are separated by just 100 votes, with 446 absentee ballots issued and 230 returned so far.
The race featured a total of six candidates vying for three seats. On election Night, incumbent Kim Ecklund (R) received 2,298 votes, far above any other candidate.
However, the next two candidates were newcomers Vanessa Weinert (D) and Andrew Liuzzo (R), who were only separated by two votes on election night. Weinert recieved 1,954 votes and Liuzzo getting 1,952 votes. The next highest vote total went to Michael Laurin (R), with 1,863, following by incumbent and current city council president Greg Rabb (D), who received 1854 votes. Robert Whitney (D) finished sixth with 1650.
With only 100 votes separating the no. 2 candidate from the no. 5 candidate – and with there being 446 absentee ballots sent out, election officials feel it is necessary to declare the race “Too Close to Call” and await the opening of all absentee ballots that come in.
However, Green does add that while it’s mathematically possible, it’s also a near impossibility the top 3 candidates will change, except for the possibility of the no. 2 candidate (currently Weinert) and the no. 3 candidate (currently Liuzzo) switching positions.
The three other Chautauqua County races that are too close to call are for the Ellington Town Council, the Hanover Town Justice, and Sherman Village Trustee races.
All absentee ballots will be opened and counted on Monday, Nov. 20.
Results from Election Night for all races in Chautauqua County can be found online at VoteChautauqua.com.