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Democrat takes lead in disputed Niagara election; GOP mulls lawsuit

Democrat takes lead in disputed Niagara election; GOP mulls lawsuit

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November election (copy)

Democrat William Kennedy took a one-vote lead Tuesday in a disputed Niagara County Legislature election.

Two of the three affidavit ballots opened Tuesday in the razor-close election for 6th District Niagara County legislator were cast for Democrat William Kennedy II.

That gives Kennedy a 776-775 lead over Republican Christopher P. Voccio, who received one new vote.

One affidavit ballot remains disputed. County election commissioners at first agreed it was invalid, but acting GOP Commissioner Michael P. Carney now says he's changed his mind, while Democratic Commissioner Lora A. Allen said Carney isn't allowed to change his stance.

Voccio said he's considering a lawsuit to try to get the ballot counted, but he isn't sure whether that should happen before or after a state-mandated hand recount of every ballot in the district, which is set for next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a special County Legislature meeting that was supposed to consider a law allowing the Legislature to fill a vacant seat in case of a tied election was canceled late Monday. Research showed existing law already gives the Legislature that power.

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