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Losing Manorhaven candidates seek a recount

Three candidates who lost their battle to be on the ballot for mayor and board of trustee seats in the Manorhaven Village, and then tried a write-in effort, are asking the county elections board to do a recount.

Toward the end of an acrimonious campaign, Giovanna Giunta, seeking to unseat Mayor Michael Meehan, along with her Revival Party teammates for trustee, Mark Lazarovic and Dorit Zeevi-Farrington, were thrown off the ballot five days before Tuesday's election.

Meehan and his Environment Party team, Brendan Fahey and Patrick Gibson, sued the challengers, arguing they hadn't properly notarized their nomination acceptances, as state law requires.

First, a state Supreme Court justice in Mineola shot the argument down and ruled to keep Giunta's team on the ballot.

Then, Meehan appealed and prevailed last Thursday. Giunta's slate, citing time constraints, opted to not appeal further. The three instead waged a long-shot write-in effort.

After Tuesday's election, with counting lasting into the early Wednesday hours, the village declared Meehan the winner with 452 votes to Giunta's 370. Votes garnered by trustee candidates: Gibson, 441; Fahey, 433; Lazarovic, 320; Zeevi-Farrington, 285.

Giunta and her team are not conceding and wanted the Nassau Board of Elections to re-canvass the machines, a request the village clerk formally made Thursday.

"We feel like we should have won," Zeevi-Farrington said. "We're going to challenge the whole election."

Peter Bee, the Mineola attorney representing Giunta's team, asserted the total voter turnout was 912. Meehan estimated it at 900.

"There's a big gap," said Zeevi-Farrington, asserting the voter turnout was 932. "Where are all of these votes?"

Zeevi-Farrington said voters complained about problems with the machines, including the write-in portion being too high to reach for shorter voters.

Lazarovic noted that the space to write was too small for their long names, which he said are difficult to spell. Grant Hayden, a Hofstra Law School professor, said misspellings don't void a vote, if it's clear whom the voter intended.

Meehan praised his challengers' efforts.

"They ran a terrific campaign on the streets," he said. "I think that the community has clearly indicated there's a division. Although I won, I recognize there is a good percentage of the electorate that isn't happy."

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