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November 16, 2012

Ballots impounded in judicial race

(Continued)

One has the key to a padlock on the ballots, and the other holds the key to the room where they are being held, so both commissioners must be present for the ballots to be accessed.

COUNTING STOPPED

Cox said it’s unusual for a challenge to be made more than a week after

the election.

King said 1,312 absentee ballots were returned, and they have already been counted for 13 of the county’s 19 towns.

But that work cannot continue until the court challenge is settled.

She said about 250 affidavit ballots were collected at polling sites from potential voters whose names were not on the official election roll. The people were allowed to cast their vote, but those numbers are not counted with the rest unless their voting status is verified.

Miller said he spoke with the attorney who filed the petition and said the order came about because “there was concern that representatives of his client were not allowed full access to the ballot process in another county.”

He said the order is blanket coverage to shut down election work in the entire judicial district.

Clinton County had already planned to count absentee ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 20, so the order has not been a problem there as yet.

In Essex County, there are no close local races that will hang fire because the impound order suspends the counting of absentee votes.

“The order came as we were about a quarter way through our (absentee) count,” said Robert Pell-deChame, Democrat Board of Election commissioner there.

Election results have to be certified by Nov. 30, he said, “so it does cause us some concern.”

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@Presrepublican.com

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