The potential power of the write-in vote became evident last Tuesday when a local resident got enough of them to oust an incumbent trustee at the sleepy Head of the Harbor village - where candidates ran uncontested on the printed ballot.
Judy Ogden, who owns a landscape design business, got 33 votes to incumbent Heiko Folkert's 22. Incumbent Meg Shutka received 56 votes, enough to keep her seat. Natale Tartamella, the unopposed mayor of the village, which is in the town of Smithtown, got 58 votes.
Ogden said she missed a deadline to file a petition to appear on the ballot, and was encouraged by a number of residents to run for the position.
When asked if she ran because she was unhappy with the way the village is run, she said: "Not at all. I think very highly of the mayor and trustees, and am very excited to be a part of it."
- Stacey Altherr