Livingston County DA contest

Ballot miscount gives Eric Schiener one-vote edge on Steve Sessler

By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express and Hornell Evening Tribune
Sept. 26, 2012   |   3:00 PM   |   Original source

Livingston County Republican candidate for district attorney Eric Schiener appears to be leading by one vote against his opponent, Steve Sessler. The two candidates had been tied with 1,879 votes each following the count of absentee ballots last week.

Livingston County Board of Elections Commissioner Laura Schoonover confirmed Wednesday afternoon that a miscount of ballots in Avon gives an extra vote to Schiener. The candidates were notified of the miscount following oral arguments Wednesday morning in Monroe County Supreme Court, where Justice John Ark will decide whether seven other ballots will be counted.

“It absolutely helps,” Schiener said. “It would have been nice to have this feeling last week.”

He said his tally on election night reflected a sixth vote in the precinct in question, but he had assumed he miscounted and had gone with the official count of five votes.

Sessler was unavailable for comment, but Jason McGuire, a spokesman for the Sessler campaign, said the discrepancy brings up questions about how the ballots were handled. He said ballots are supposed to be impounded following the count on election day.

The outcome of the election could be decided in the next few days, once Ark makes a ruling into the remaining ballots.