Recount requested in Amityville Village trustee race

Voters cast their vote in the lobby of

Voters cast their vote in the lobby of Amityville High School on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 for special village elections. Photo Credit: James Carbone

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With control of the Amityville Village board at stake, challenger Wesley Powell has asked for a recount of Tuesday's election results that gave a narrow victory to Trustee Nick LaLota, village officials said.

Village Attorney Bruce Kennedy said the request, made in a letter to clerk Diane Sheridan, did not specify a reason. Powell was traveling Thursday and said he could not comment.

"As far as I know, they were counted right, but a candidate has a right to challenge," Kennedy said.

The winner of Tuesday's special election will fill the seat of former trustee Peter Casserly, who resigned with a year remaining in his term.

A LaLota victory would consolidate majority control for the Amityville First Party, with Mayor Jim Wandell and Deputy Mayor Jessica Bernius also sitting on the board. A Powell win would break that hold.

Tuesday night's vote count showed 82 votes separating the candidates, with LaLota leading 1,146-1,064. The village has approximately 4,500 registered voters and turnout was the highest in 15 years, Kennedy said.

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LaLota said a recount would likely focus on 127 emergency ballots used by voters after some polling stations ran out of regular ballots.

A tally sheet supplied by Sheridan showed LaLota with 66 of those votes and Powell with 61.

Those ballots, along with all cast for the election, have been kept under lock and key since the initial count, Kennedy said.

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Kennedy said he did not know a date for the recount but that it would likely be conducted next week. Suffolk County Board of Elections personnel will conduct the recount at the board's Yaphank headquarters, he said.

LaLota said he supported the recount.

"I want to be able to guarantee each and every one of the village residents is heard," he said. "I'm confident the results will show voters want the Amityville First Party to continue the work of being financially responsible and having an open government."

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