Byron supervisor ‘up for grabs’

Mark Gutman/Daily News Byron resident Danielle Cummings signs in to vote as Election Inspector David Keller looks on Tuesday in Byron.

BATAVIA — The Republican primary results are unofficial, but the counting of absentee ballots will not change the outcome in Stafford and Bethany.

The primary for town of Byron supervisor, between incumbent Peter Yasses and challenger Gerald Heins, is in doubt until all the absentees are tallied, Republican Election Commissioner Richard Siebert said. Yasses had a four-vote lead, 82-78, as of Tuesday night.

“That’s where the absentee ballots will decide the contest. We issued 21 absentee ballots and 13 have been returned,” Siebert said. “It would depend on the absentee ballots, when we open them, who’s going to be the victor there.”

As long as absentee ballots were postmarked Tuesday, the Board of Elections can accept them, Siebert said.

“The obvious thing is, the absentee ballots will decide this race for supervisor, whether we get 13 or whether we get 15. It’s a four-vote margin and it’s obviously up for grabs at this point,” he said. “You get a town supervisor race in Byron, which you’d like to think people care about their town supervisor.”

Tuesday’s GOP primary election unofficial results for Stafford and Bethany are:

Town of Stafford clerk (vote for one)

• Barbara L. Radley, 181

• Julie Scheuerlein, incumbent, 33

Town of Bethany justice (vote for any two)

• Joseph Nowakowski, 63

• Jeff Wolak, 58

• Nichole Szymkowiak, 37

• Christopher Hausfelder, 27

• Peggy Johnson, 23

Siebert said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that 42 voted in the primary in Stafford, 27 in Byron and 16 in Bethany.

“We always get a bump (in turnout) between maybe 5 and 6:30 p.m. ... right after people get home from work or after they have supper. It dies down after that,” he said Wednesday. “That’s what happened last night. Between 8 and 9, it was very quiet.”

All results have to be unofficial until the Board of Elections opens the absentee ballots next Wednesday, Siebert said. However, he said, there is no doubt about the outcome of the Stafford town clerk primary. Radley has over 80% of the vote.

“In Stafford, the absentee ballots are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how many are out or how many come back,” he said. “It was one of the biggest I’ve seen ... Of all the three primaries, that was the most contentious. It was contentious to say the least.”

In Bethany, Siebert said Nowakowski and Wolak will be the winners in the town justice primary when the results are official.

“The next closest one was 37. There were nowhere near enough (absentee ballots) that would make any difference,” he said.

Siebert said the candidates are welcome to be there when the board counts absentee ballots.

“The candidates are all invited to come and observe us, watch us, if they wish, so they can see what’s going on. Anybody can come, but specifically these candidates (Yasses and Heins), who were up for grabs, will be invited ... they can watch our procedures. The two candidates or their representatives can come.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1