Problems Stall Mamaroneck Village Elections
With four districts unable to tally votes due to problems with the new voting system’s tally machines and because of a jurisdictional mix-up
Village of Mamaroneck Trustee races, as well as the much-watched race for the local State Senate seat, may not be decided before next week at earliest, sources said.
"It’s a matter of the process itself just didn’t work right," said Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum. The problems experienced in Mamaroneck are similar to those experienced throughout the County, where problematic machines and ballots have been impounded, he said.
The next step in calculating the elections affected will be decided at a special hearing Nov. 10, Rosenblum said. Elections stalled by the problems include those for three Village Trustee seats as well as one for Village Justice.
As of Thursday morning, unofficial results showed Trustee incumbents John Hofstetter and Toni Pergola Ryan would likely keep their seats, with the race for the third Trustee and Village Justice positions still up for grabs, Rosenblum said.
The hotly contested race for the 37th State Senatorial District, which has long-time incumbent Suzi Oppenheimer and real estate executive Bob Cohen in a dead heat, will also likely remain undecided until the remaining votes are counted. Absentee ballots, which also have yet to be counted, are also expected to ultimately tip that race one way or another.
One Mamaroneck resident, who did not want to be named, said Mamaroneck was hit particularly hard by problems with the new paper ballots and tallying machines.
Not only were Village ballots physically too long to be processed by the new machines (they were elongated to accommodate Village races, rather than being made double sided, she said) but there were jurisdictional mix-ups as well.
In addition to those problems, early voters at some polling places had to be turned away because Mamaroneck received Ossining ballots by mistake and vice versa.
Rosenblum called the mishaps with the new voting system unfortunate, not only for keeping election season alive longer than it should be but also because they could discourage voters, only 35 to 45 % of who make it to the polls under better circumstances.
"My fear is that people will be even more frustrated and not bother to vote," he said.
Mayor R is apparently defter at concocting cozy (but not fully legal) retirement deals for police officers than organizing elections. You cannot be good at everything.