Absentee ballots won't sway Washington County election returns

February 15, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - More than 650 absentee ballots were counted from this year's primary election, but those votes had no effect on Tuesday's results.

The Washington County Board of Elections on Thursday counted 668 absentee ballots. That is about half of the more than 1,200 absentee ballots that have been received, according to Dorothy Kaetzel, the county's election director.

The deadline for the board to receive those ballots is Feb. 22, but they must have been postmarked by Feb. 12. The remainder of the ballots will be counted Feb. 22, and provisional ballots are expected to be counted Tuesday.

Officials say there are more than 200 provisional ballots that were filled out in Washington County.

Charter home rule failed to pass Tuesday by a 2-1 margin, and not even the full count of all absentee ballots and provisional ballots would be enough to make up the difference.


U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th, won the nomination to seek a ninth term in Congress by a wide margin that would not have been affected by a count of all absentee ballots. Democrat Jennifer Dougherty will challenge him.

The count did solidify the results of the Washington County Board of Education race.

Tom Janus trailed Russell F. Williams II by 896 votes Wednesday. After Thursday's count of absentee ballots, Janus trailed by 909 votes, eliminating him from the field of eight candidates who will go to November's general election.

The results of Tuesday's election are not final until all votes, including provisional and absentee ballots, have been counted.

Kaetzel said that absentee ballots were fed, one at a time, into an optical scan machine. She said that some of them were rejected.

There were 358 Democrat absentee ballots, 321 Republican and 28 nonpartisan ballots, Kaetzel said.

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