Three affidavits could determine the result of the 6th District legislator race between Chris Voccio and Bill Kennedy with both candidates now holding steady at 774 votes each.

Currently the three ballots have been OK’d to be opened and will be done so at 11 a.m. today. According to Mike Carney, Republican deputy commissioner for the Board of Elections, the three are all from registered Democratic voters.

The last affidavit is a registered no-party voter, Wanda Slawinska.

What brought her ballot to the attention of the BOE was an address in the 3rd District, according to Niagara County Democratic Chair Chris Borgati.

“Both commissioners are supposed to be non-political,” Borgati said. “They looked at the affidavit and made a decision (to not open the vote).”

However, Carney wrote to Lora Allen, Democratic commissioner of the BOE, in a Monday email that he had changed his mind.

“Please be advised that based on the opinion rendered by the Niagara County Attorney, Claude Joerg, I have decided that my initial determination of the Affidavit Ballot submitted on Election Day by Wanda Slawinska to be incorrect.

“After careful review of all her documents and information attached to her voter file, I feel Ms. Slawinska’s Affidavit Ballot is valid and should be counted.”

Carney went on to say that he will not open the envelope until he and Allen are in agreement or a legal proceedings is made that requires himself and Allen to do so.

Voccio released a statement on Saturday regarding the situation.

“The four remaining votes to count are from three Democrats and one NOP, an abbreviation of No Party, or independent. Each of these four votes has some technicality that caused them to be flagged, but they are overall legitimate votes,” Voccio said. “On Friday, we reached out to the other side to agree to open four ballots and bring the election to a conclusion. The other side refused, insisting that only the Democratic ballots be counted.”

Borgatti said that initially, Voccio did not want any affidavits to be opened, but changed his mind as he needed more votes.

“Initially, when it was time to count absentee ballots, we finished with two back,” Borgatti said. “At that point of time Voccio was against all affidavits being counted.”

Earlier Monday, a special meeting by the Niagara County Legislature was being scheduled. The meeting, according to Public Information Officer Kevin Schuler, was to determine whether a Niagara County Local Law should be changed to address a tie vote for Legislature.

Later the meeting was canceled after Joerg discovered a subsection of the law which dealt with the issue.

According to Schuler, the piece of the law that addressed a “failure to elect” because of a tie vote, showed that the remainder of the Niagara County Legislators would vote to appoint a resident of the district in question, which could be either candidate or any registered voter in that locality.

“A vacancy in the elective office of Niagara County Legislator, as a result of the expiration of such term of office and due to the failure of the electors to elect a successor to fill such vacancy as the result of a tie vote at the last General Election, shall be filled by appointment by a majority vote of the duly elected members of the Niagara County Legislature,” reads the Section B of the law that Schuler quoted.

Carney noted that there are three races, including the 6th District, which demand a hand recount which will be conducted next week.

Kennedy could not be reached for comment.

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