Final results of city council race may take weeks - Titusville Herald: News

Final results of city council race may take weeks

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2019 5:00 am

With the large number of write-in votes cast in Tuesday’s primary election for Titusville City Council, it may take several weeks for the final results to be known.

According to Crawford County Director of Elections Becky Little, counting of write-in votes will not begin until next Tuesday, as per standard county protocol.

“This is how we do tabulations at the county level,” she said. “We are going to do them as we always have done.”

The results tape produced by the new voting machines used in Titusville for this election do not detail the exact distribution of votes cast for each write-in candidate, only giving a lump sum. As such, The Herald was unable to call who had the lead in the city council race, as there was a significant number of write-in votes cast.

According to unofficial results released by Crawford County Voter Services, there were 677 write-in votes made in the Republican primary for Titusville City Council. This number nearly triple the amount cast for the highest ranking balloted candidate, Jayla Pertz, who received 229.

However, it is unknown how many candidates these votes are spread out amongst, nor exactly how many each of them received. Theoretically, it is possible that only one write-in candidate received all 677 votes, or 677 write-in candidates each got only one vote.

Little said that vote counting is done in alphabetical order for the various townships, boroughs and cities in Crawford County, starting with Allegheny Township. As such, it may be a while before Titusville ballots are counted.

“We’ll probably get to them right next week, or early the week after,” Little said.

Once the votes across the entire county are all accounted for, they are sent off to the state government for certification before they are finally released. In Little’s estimation, the whole process could take around two weeks.

“We’re going to be very, very meticulous, because we have some close races,” she said.

While this is only Little’s second election as director, she said that previous directors have indicated to her that the number of write-ins received in this election were “quite a bit” compared to other cycles.

Dennis Peden, Roger Gordon and Jon Crouch launched a joint write-in campaign in the city council race on both the Republican and Democrat ticket. If the 677 write-in votes cast were theoretically split between them evenly, they would each receive 225.7 votes, enough to beat balloted candidates James Elliott, Heather Leonardi and William Adelman, but not enough to surpass Pertz.

However, Dewayne Blair also launched a write-in campaign on his own. If the votes were split between himself and Peden, Gordon and Crouch evenly, they would get 169.25 each. This would beat Elliott and Leonardi’s totals, but fall short of Adelman’s 205 votes and Pertz’s lead.

Despite the lack of any balloted candidates, the Democratic race for city council also saw a large influx of write-in votes. An unofficial count of 554 votes were cast in that race, which, adding the write-in votes cast on the Republican ballot, comes to a total of 1,231 write-in votes made total.

According to Crawford County Voter Services’ unofficial count, 315 out of 1,088 Democrats in the city participated in Tuesday’s election, while 525 out of 1,589 registered Republicans did the same. On a percentage basis, this comes to 28.95% and 33.04% of total possible voters, respectively.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

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