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Lackawanna council candidates wait for absentee ballots to decide primary winner

Lackawanna City Council opponents John Ingram and Mohamed Albanna, who tied in Tuesday night's Conservative Party primary election, must wait until Tuesday to find out who won the line on the November ballot.

That's when the Erie County Board of elections can open absentee ballots, said Robin Sion, deputy elections commissioner.

"State elections law requires us to wait one week after the postmark deadline for any remaining absentee ballots to be mailed back to us," Sion. "We have 13 sitting here waiting to be opened."

Scion said 21 Conservative Party voters in the First Ward requested absentee ballots, which had to be mailed back on or before Sept. 11.

Albanna and Ingram each received 28 votes in the primary contest overshadowed by Albanna's decade-old felony conviction. Albanna was sentenced to five years in prison after he and two family members were convicted 11 years ago of illegally sending $5.5 million to Yemen, his native country.

After the absentee votes are counted, if the candidates remain tied, it will be up to Conservative Party Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo to pick the winner.

"Both candidates are Democrats who came in seeing the Conservative Party endorsement," said Lorigo. "We listened to both of these men and they both came across fairly well, so we gave it to both. That is something we typically would not do.

"I think it would have gone to Albanna if it had not been for the felony," Lorigo said of the party's endorsement.

Albanna and Ingram are both ensured a spot on the November ballot. Albanna will be the Democratic Party candidate. Ingram filed an independent nomination petition to obtain a second line. No Republican Party candidate will be on the ballot.

Erie County primary election results

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