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Only one write-in beats filing deadline for Mercersburg council seat

November 21, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Of all the people who received write-in votes in the Nov. 6 election, one person filed a cumulation petition with the Franklin County Election Board to claim a borough council seat in Mercersburg, Pa.

Tom Suddith and Mary Frisby each received four write-in votes for one of three council seats, according to the write-in results. Suddith, however, filed a petition to have another vote for Thomas Suddith added to his total, Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers said.

The board will hold a cumulation hearing in a week or two, Byers said.

Everyone who received enough write-in votes to be elected Nov. 6 is getting a letter and necessary forms from the county informing them what they have to do to accept the office.

That includes a notarized candidate's affidavit; a campaign expense waiver or report, depending on whether they spent $250 or more on the election; and a statement of financial interest.

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If not interested in taking office, the person merely needs to write "not interested" on the affidavit and return it, according to the letter.

In a few cases, candidates might need to do both. Dennis Monn and Debra Lee are both on the Mont Alto (Pa.) Borough Council and neither ran for re-election.

However, each did garner enough write-in votes to be elected to both four-year and two-year seats on the council, according to election results.

Byers said Monn and Lee will have to decide which seats - if either - they want and the others will be declared vacant.

Monn said last week he did not go to the trouble and expense of filing to run because he figured he would probably get elected anyway.

All the packets sent to write-in winners must be returned by Dec. 6, Byers said. At that time, the board will determine what municipal offices will be declared vacant.

Township boards of supervisors and borough councils will have 30 days to fill those vacancies, Byers said. Failing that, each municipality's vacancy board will have an additional 15 days to appoint someone to the seat.

If the office remains vacant, the appointment would then be made by the president judge of the 39th District of the Court of Common Pleas, Judge John Walker.

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