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Recount, absentee votes afoot in Niagara

A recount of voting machine readouts Wednesday tightened a primary election for Royalton town justice, while absentee ballot figures from the Niagara County Board of Elections showed eight primary races that could be decided by paper ballots.

Election Commissioners Scott P. Kiedrowski and Nancy L. Smith said that five more votes for Royalton Justice Deborah A. Carpenter were found on a voting machine set up at Terry's Corners Fire Company.

Royalton is electing two justices this year. The other incumbent, Gregory A. Bass, tallied 355 votes and is a shoo-in for a spot on the Republican line. Tuesday night's report showed Carpenter trailing Margaret M. Raduns for the second spot, 251-241. However, Wednesday's correction moved Carpenter's total to 246.

Smith said the Board of Elections issued 43 absentee ballots to Royalton Republicans, of which 26 were received as of Wednesday. To be counted, absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Monday, the day before the election, and they must be delivered in the mail by next Tuesday.

Smith and Kiedrowski said they will begin counting paper ballots Tuesday afternoon, focusing on the tightest contests.

Here are the other primaries close enough to be swung by absentee ballots:

Newfane -- Former Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg leads incumbent Supervisor Eric P. Krueger, 401-393, in the Republican primary for that office. As of Wednesday, 39 absentee ballots had been received; 66 were issued.

6th Legislative District -- Legislator Danny W. Sklarski leads Robert S. LaBarbera, 423-412, in the Democratic primary. The Board of Elections has 37 absentee ballots in hand of the 58 it issued. The district covers all of the Town of Niagara and part of Wheatfield.

Town of Niagara -- In the Democratic race for councilman, John P. Adams is leading for the second of two available seats by a 386-368 margin over Robert A. Clark. There were 33 absentee ballots in hand of the 46 issued to town Democrats. Incumbent Marc M. Carpenter was safe in first place.

On the Republican side, Carpenter and fellow incumbent Michael J. Ross were six votes apart for second place, with Ross leading, 118-112. Town Republicans were issued 35 absentee ballots, 21 of which have been received at the Board of Elections. Jenelle L. Messer was securely in first place.

Royalton -- With three councilmen to be elected, two incumbents were battling for third place. Calvin W. Rhoney was leading L. Kent Kilgore, 206-203. So far, 26 absentee ballots have been received of the 43 issued. Richard J. Lang and incumbent Lee M. Criswell were sure winners for the first two spots.

Wilson -- Councilman Bruce G. Muck was leading former County Legislator Joseph A. Jastrzemski, 281-263, in the GOP primary for supervisor. However, 22 absentee ballots have been received so far, and 43 were issued.

City of Lockport -- Thomas M. DiMillo was two votes behind City Judge William J. Watson in the Independence Party primary, 38-36. There were eight absentee votes in hand of 13 issued, but Watson won both the Republican and Democratic primaries by wide margins, giving him a hammerlock on re-election.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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