Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Palmer-Forks Magisterial Race Tied

As Northampton County elections officials continue their canvass of the May 18 municipal primary, it appears that one of the Democratic races is in a dead heat. This contest is for the Magisterial District Judge seat in Palmer and Forks Tp. Highly regarded Judge Jackie Taschner has decided to hang up her robe at the end of her term, and a field of four candidates has stepped into the fray. 

Republican Marc Chrisafulli, a Wilson Borough police officer, has captured the Republican nomination and will be on the ballot in the fall. The contest for  the Democratic nod, however, is for from certain. 

Yesterday, I told you that Susie Hutnik, an admired Assistant Public Defender, was trailing Lisa Spitale, an equally admired private attorney, by a scant two votes. Today, they are both tied at 1171. 

How did this happen? Lisa Spitale received six provisional ballots while Susie Hutnik only captured five. So you might think Lisa's lead would be increased by one vote. 

Here's what happened. There were 16,010 mail-in ballots, but 516 of them (3.2%) were rejected by the scanner. This could be for a variety of reasons, from a paper tear to some other defect that makes the ballot impossible to read. Elections officials remedy this problem with something known as a "remake." The defective ballot is hand-copied onto a new ballot and scanned. 

When the remakes were finished, Susie Hutnikl had made up her three-vote deficit and is now tied with Lisa Spitale.

How do you break the tie?

The candidates will cast lots. 

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am concerned that a low turnout local election is now going on for over a week, this seems to be the new norm.

Everybody thinks that the new way of voting is just great, but this extended counting is not what has been the history of voting in the USA. This only leads to a further eroding of faith in the system.

If we have to have mail in voting, then have them come in a week or how ever long it takes before the in person voting. all results have to be tabulated quickly.

We are going backwards with our voting system.

Anonymous said...

I am too ashamed to post my name after failing to vote. I had walked many miles in a New Jersey state park election day. I have indulged in many rationalizations as I try to poorly justify my failure to vote. "I always vote, this won't matter", "too tired and dirty", "needed a shower to avoid exposure to any lingering ticks". And now I read this article. Damn it, I knew who was getting my vote, but, crap, I did not go. Votes do matter.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am concerned that a low turnout local election is now going on for over a week, this seems to be the new norm."

This is noting new. A canvass ALWAYS follows an election, regardless whether there are MIBs. It always takes about a week. Results in close races remain that way. This has been the history of voting, but you just have not been paying attention.

You take this canvassing process and use it to attack MIBs. You claim everyone likes it, but your own comment and GOP refusal to use this form of voting are evidence that this form of voting is controversial. I submit the real reason you dislike this form of voting is it is more small "d" democratic. It expands voter access to people who simply are unable to stand in line at the polls bc they have to work two or three jobs or may have children or might be caregivers.

You wish to depress turnout so only the more wealthy can vote. I submit your objection has nothing to do with faith in the system. Examine your heart.

Sandra Weiss said...

Both women are equally qualified so it's a win win.But I am rooting for Susie Hutnik becauseof personal reasons. I think she would make a great Magistrate

Anonymous said...

I wish the majority of my party realized that there was no widespread shenanigans with our elections. Alas, I'm in the minority. I do feel strongly that voting should have a participatory bar to clear. If you truly want something, go get it. I don't believe it's too much to ask to produce ID to vote. I do not accept the argument that it places an undue burden on underprivileged urban voters. The nearest DMV to my rural childhood home was 45 minutes away. There was not an abundance of folks without a divers license.
If you want something you need to put in the work.

Anonymous said...

Mail-in voting COULD be just fine. However, America simply was not ready for the massive expansion of mail-in voting for 2020. Lots of problems in several states, if not all states. The procedure was not carefully controlled for eligibility, accuracy and citizen confidence. Depending what one watches/listens/reads for their information, the extent of the difficulties is probably not truly understood. The situation in Arizona will be an eye-opener, I think.

Anonymous said...

The person who mailed the ballot should be called and “remake” the ballot !!!

Anonymous said...

So, what is wrong with making the deadline for mail in before the usual method so they can have result simultaneously. How would that be voter suppression.

Anonymous said...

Good ol'fashion duel should determine the winner!

Anonymous said...

I see someone faked an endorsement for Susie Hutnick and Mike Brett on a Lehigh Valley for All endorsement sign. I know that group has an influence over things

Anonymous said...

This is why mail in balloting is bull. Someone else fills in the ballot if damaged at voters registration based on opinion of the condition of said ballot? And some wonder why many are saying voter fraud exist. You just verified the possibility it does. Go to the polls, don't be lazy !

Anonymous said...

@11:44 - At a guess, you don't want to force voters to make up their minds before Election Day if you don't have to.

What *could* be done maybe is allow for counting of MIB to start prior to Election Day, but that comes with the risk of potential leaks coming out that might impact voting on Election Day.

I think there is probably some sort of middle ground that should be achievable, but when you have two political parties that act like spoiled little children on a playground, compromise becomes difficult...

Anonymous said...

1.03 yes legalize dueling and it would be a quick move to more civility.

Bernie O'Hare said...

". Someone else fills in the ballot if damaged at voters registration based on opinion of the condition of said ballot? And some wonder why many are saying voter fraud exist. You just verified the possibility it does"

Of course voter fraud exists. It happens in ALL forms of voting. Such is human nature. The suggestion that there has been widespread and systematic fraud, however, is simply insane. It improbably suggests a wide-ranging conspiracy that would have been discovered long ago.

And there you go, suggesting that elections officials are rigging an election with absolutely zero evidence. This is irresponsible and is why people like you get shut down.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The situation in Arizona will be an eye-opener, I think."

What you think and what you know are two different things. I know what I think of that so-called audit, being conducted by an outfit that had already reached Trumpian conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Ooooo....Cyberninjas. What could possibly be inept about a company run by a conspiracy theorist?

Anonymous said...

I smell a rat!

Anonymous said...

The Arizona deal is a joke. They are so screwy the machines will probably have to be replaced because of the goofy company doing what they call an "audit".

Anonymous said...

"The Arizona Situation" is going to be yet another embarrassing and self inflicted black eye for Republicans.

It's become a party of whiney losers - not sure how this tactic of crying "Unfair!" and making excuses after each election loss is bringing more/new voters into the party.

Next they want to Georgia. Both Arizona and Georgia have slowly been transitioning from solid Republican strong holds and are now "purple" states. Why? Both Phoenix and Atlanta are growing expanding cities, that attract businesses, which in turn attract young, educated workers from all around the country.

Republican policies are not popular with at least 50.1% of the country which is why they lose. Not acknowledging and adapting to what the majority of the country wants is why they are losing. Crying and whining about it after the fact only amplifies that they're losers.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Any idea when this will be settled by casting lots? I think it is unique that they will be settling this tie in a very Biblical way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This will be resolved tomorrow. I am updating story tonight

Anonymous said...

Forget casting lots. We have a winner. The election website is refreshed once again. Hutnik is now ahead.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It will be resolved tomorrow but the entire district will be audited first. Don’t call it yet

Anonymous said...

Then we have a nation of at least 50.1% idiots. Heaven help us.