Cliff-hanger in Nelsonville

New Vote March 31

By Michael Turton

When the tally was conducted after the polls closed in the Wednesday (March 18) election in Nelsonville, poll workers may have thought that absentee ballots would break the surprising 89-89 tie between Thomas Robertson and Danielle Pack McCarthy that the day’s voting had produced.

The two candidates: Thomas Robertson and Danielle Pack-McCarthy

Thomas Robertson and Danielle Pack McCarthy

The two first-time candidates are vying for a single open trustee seat on the Village Board. As it turned out, the absentee ballots changed nothing, other than the totals. Only two such ballots were submitted, from which both candidates collected one additional vote, leaving the final total as a 90-90 draw.

Nelsonville Village Clerk Pauline Minners told The Paper that under New York State election law, a second vote will be held to determine the winner, unless both candidates waive that option. If they do, the winner will be decided by drawing lots. If either candidate opts not to let chance determine the outcome, the second vote must take place.

“I don’t think this has ever happened in Nelsonville before,” Minners said. The candidates have until the close of business on Friday, March 19, to inform Minners of their decision, otherwise plans for a new election will proceed.

Contacted Thursday afternoon by The Paper, Robertson said in an email that he prefers drawing lots. Pack McCarthy however said that she will opt for a second election. “I don’t want this decided by chance,” she said in a telephone interview. “The real story here is how people came out to the polls to vote. It wouldn’t be right to decide it by chance.”

The mayor’s race produced no such drama as incumbent Tom Corless officially ran unopposed, collecting 131 votes. However, even in that race there was a twist, with last minute write-in candidate Dave Moroney receiving 35 votes.

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