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Sites appears to have enough write-ins to be on November ballot as a Republican for council

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 5/22/19

Former Middletown Borough Council member Scott Sites appears to have received enough write-in votes in Tuesday’s primary to be on the ballot as a Republican in November.

Sites received at …

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Sites appears to have enough write-ins to be on November ballot as a Republican for council

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Former Middletown Borough Council member Scott Sites appears to have received enough write-in votes in Tuesday’s primary to be on the ballot as a Republican in November.

Sites received at least 22 write-in votes for council, based on unofficial primary results posted at the six precincts in Middletown and gathered by the Press & Journal.

The 22 does not count any write-ins Sites may have received at the 3rd Ward 2nd Precinct, as the names of those getting the 15 write-in votes there had not been posted on the door of the Liberty Fire Company at Adelia and Emaus streets.

Sites — or any other Republican — needed at least 10 write-in votes to get on the ballot, according to Gerald Feaser, director of Elections & Voter Registration for Dauphin County.

Sites served two terms on borough council before deciding not to run again in 2015. He serves on the borough planning commission, and is also on the interim board of directors of the Middletown Business Association.

Sites did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Press & Journal regarding whether he will choose to be put on the ballot.

Four seats are up on the seven-member council this year. Only two Republican candidates were on the primary ballot, former councilor David Rhen and newcomer Richard Kluskiewicz.

Kluskiewicz received 317 votes Tuesday and Rhen 276, according to unofficial results, assuring both a spot on the November ballot.

If the write-in results hold up, Sites would have a third spot.

On the Democratic side, incumbents Ellen Willenbecher, Council President Angela Lloyd and Council Vice President Michael Woodworth were the top three vote-getters — 211, 192 and 164, respectively — earning all three a spot in the November election.

All three were appointed to council in 2018 to replace councilors who had resigned, so all three are running for election to a full four-year term for the first time.

Regarding the fourth spot on the Democratic council ballot, Phyllis Dew received 142 votes to Erin Blake’s 141, based on unofficial results.

It will be at least one week, and possibly two, before results from Tuesday’s primary are considered official, and it is known who gets the fourth spot on the Democratic ballot — Dew or Blake.

On Friday, Feaser and his staff get sworn in as the computation board and begin a review of the unofficial results of Tuesday’s primary, taking into account absentee and provisional ballots. They will also begin the process of tallying write-in votes.

On Wednesday, May 28, the results will be presented to the county board of elections for what is known as the first certification.

Automatic provisions triggering a recount exist for state-wide elected offices, but not for locally elected offices, Feaser said.

At the local level, such as borough council, a candidate not satisfied with results of the first certification can challenge the results by filing a challenge with the board of elections, Feaser said.

To file a challenge, a candidate must provide a specific reason why he or she believes the results are in error. It’s not enough for a candidate to just say that he or she disagrees with the results, Feaser said.

If the board of elections rejects the challenge, the candidate can appeal that decision to county court.

Otherwise, the unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary — including write-in votes — become official on Wednesday, June 5, when the results are presented to the board of elections for the second, and final, certification.

At that point, anyone getting enough write-in votes to earn a spot on the November ballot will be contacted by the county, to see if that person will accept being on the ballot, Feaser said.

Besides Sites, all five candidates who were on the Democratic ballot for Middletown council also received write-in votes on the Republican side during Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial results.