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Oceanside Sanitation District changes procedures for upcoming trustee election

The Oceanside Sanitation District is overhauling its election procedures a year after a judge ordered a recount of last year's vote.

Sanitary District No. 7 has certified two candidates to run in this year's June 18 election: attorney John Mannone and volunteer firefighter and Fire Commissioner Craig DeBaun.

The two candidates are running to fill the seat of retiring Commissioner Christopher Powers. The term is for five years and pays $7,500 annually.

The current board of five commissioners has hired Uniondale-based attorney Jack Libert to serve as the district's attorney and implement changes to bring more transparency to this year's election.

Commissioners are renting voting machines from the Nassau County Board of Elections after renting equipment from a private Queens firm last year.

"Due to the bipartisan nature of the board of elections, all parties should have a sense that these machines are used fairly and transparently," Nassau County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner David Gugerty said.

The sanitation district is running its own election because Nassau County does not oversee elections for school districts or special districts like Oceanside's.

The district has also chosen inspectors from a list compiled by the Nassau Board of Elections.

The voting machines were a central problem last year when a counter on one machine incorrectly tallied 130 more voters than those who entered voting booths, leading to a two-month legal battle between candidates and a recount. Legal fees and election costs to the district were estimated at $18,000.

Last year's voting machines were impounded and about 1,600 votes were tabulated, including 184 paper ballots. A Nassau County Supreme Court judge oversaw the recount. The district declared Thomas Lanning the victor over challenger Mike Franzini.

Each candidate will also be allowed to have one poll watcher to deter electioneering during voting hours from 3 to 10 p.m.

The sanitation district also adopted rules to monitor which voters are qualified to vote in the district.

Voting will be held at the sanitation district offices at 90 Mott St.

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