Politics and Government
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Recount allowed in Port Matilda mayor's race
Updated: Tuesday, December 10 2013, 04:55 PM EST
Recount to take place in one week
Written By: Marc Stempka
Reported By: Gary Sinderson
BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- It’s been more than a month since the 2013 general election and a decision may be nearing in determining who will be the next mayor of a small Centre County town.
Centre County President Judge Thomas Kistler ruled at a hearing Tuesday morning that a recount will be needed to decide who will be the next mayor of Port Matilda.
Ida Lively and Bobbi Jo Hamer were two of three women who staged write-in campaigns for the office. Hamer received 33 votes and Lively received 34 votes in the official tally according to the Centre County election officials.
As 6 News reporter Gary Sinderson first reported Dec. 3, the latest issue in determining the next mayor involved under-votes, or ballots that were been cast but were not properly filled out for mayor.
There were 20 under-vote ballots cast and none of those have been counted, Centre County elections officials confirmed at the hearing.
Kistler ruled that certain under-votes would be permitted to be counted and that a recount will take place on Dec. 17.
Lively and Hamer agreed during the hearing about the way improperly filled out under-votes should be counted.
In Centre County, an example an under-vote is where a voter writes in the name of a candidate, but doesn’t darken the oval at the front of the line for the candidate. Elections officials said several of the 20 under-votes met those criteria and both women agreed to permit those votes to the counted.
Earlier this year incumbent Port Matilda Mayor Robert Wiser decided he didn’t want to be the mayor after winning the primary election, and encouraged voters to write in other candidates.
Three residents, Lively, Hamer and Lynn Snyder, staged write-in campaigns for mayor.