Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cape Vincent voters break overwhelmingly for anti-wind power candidates; Greig primary flips

Absentee ballots made the difference in the race for the Republican nomination for Greig town supervisor.

Donald D. Schneider beat Supervisor Marilyn E. Patterson for the Republican nomination, 91-90, according to Lewis County Board of Elections figures. Mr. Schneider was losing by two votes on primary night, Sept. 13, but made up the difference after absentee ballots were counted and the primary results were certified Wednesday.

Ms. Patterson has an independent line in the election, so she’ll have a rematch against Mr. Schneider on Nov. 8.

All of the other leads that candidates had in Lewis County on Sept. 13 held.

A quarter of Lewis County Republicans turned out for Michael P. Carpinelli’s upset victory over Devere D. Rumble for sheriff. Mr. Carpinelli won, 1,479 to 779, in certified results. Mr. Rumble said he will continue to campaign on the Independence Party line for the Nov. 8 election.

In Cape Vincent on primary night, the unofficial results in the race for the Republican nod in the town supervisor race had been tabulated: Anti-wind power incumbent Urban C. Hirschey had 277 votes and pro-wind power candidate Harvey J. White had 99 votes.

But that didn’t include absentee ballots — about a third of all votes cast. On Wednesday, those ballots were counted. Mr. Hirschey ended up with 507 votes and Mr. White ended up with 107.

That Mr. Hirschey’s already lopsided victory got even more lopsided when absentee ballots were counted is hardly a surprise. It is likely a result of a months-long voter registration drive by anti-wind power activists that targeted seasonal residents. Seasonal residents who may live during the winter in faraway locales are more likely to oppose wind power development and more likely to vote as absentees — which can allow people to vote via mail in the days leading up to the election, rather than in person on election day.

The absentee ballot counts were similarly grim for pro-wind power Town Council candidates in the Republican primary. Marty T. Mason ended up in third place for two spots, with 125 votes, after absentee ballots were counted. Before the absentees were counted and the results were official, Mr. Mason had 113 votes.

Victorious Republican candidate Clifford P. Schneider, meanwhile, had 506 votes and John L. Byrne III had 488 votes, gaining more than 200 votes each since Sept. 13.

A rematch for supervisor and Town Council will take place at the Nov. 8 general election, because the candidates who lost the Republican primary will have third-party lines in the general election.

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