district office

Election inspectors are hoping to finish the Lockport school district vote count today and have the Board of Education certify the results at a 6 p.m. meeting, district Superintendent Michelle Bradley announced.

Canvassing was suspended about 12 a.m. Wednesday, after an approximate 5 p.m. Tuesday start on the process of opening and tallying about 5,300 absentee ballots.

As of noon Wednesday, election inspectors had counted a little more than half of the ballots, according to Bradley.

"They've been working feverishly," she said. 

As a result of the delay in results, the school board pushed back its meeting from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

"We're monitoring that pace and one of the adjustments we've made is that the board of education regular meeting / board of canvassers meeting was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. We're going to start at 6 p.m. to give a little bit more time to the inspectors tabulating," Bradley said. 

Lockport district voters were asked to approve a $105.5 million budget for 2020-2021 and choose from 11 candidates to fill four board seats.

School districts across New York State have conducted this year's elections exclusively through absentee balloting, after an executive order by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo mandating no in-person voting due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Bradley says this election cycle has been "unusual and time consuming. It's not anything that school districts have been involved in ever before, and I think it's taken longer for most school districts" to tabulate results. 

District Clerk Deborah Coder previously raised the possibility of ballots being disqualified if voters failed to sign their absentee ballots.

Bradley said on Wednesday she did not have the number of ballots that were disqualified.

Turnout in this year's election, roughly 5,300, is about four times greater than the district's five-year average turnout, 1,223 residents. 

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