Manorhaven to have votes recanvassed in bid to resolve trustee race tie

Manorhaven to have votes recanvassed in bid to resolve trustee race tie
Manorhaven village hall. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Village of Manorhaven has asked the Nassau County Board of Elections to recanvass votes cast in their June 20 election in a bid to resolve a tie between the two incumbent trustees vying for the one seat available on the village’s Board of Trustees.

On Tuesday, the village held an election in which three candidates ran for two trustee seats.

New challenger Jeffrey Stone won with 388 votes. Incumbent Trustees Vincent Costa and Khristine Shahipour garnered 207 votes each.

Before the village counted absentee ballots to resolve the tie, Shahipour conceded the race. This appeared to hand Costa the election.

But on Wednesday, Mayor John Popeleski said village officials met with their attorneys who determined that, by law, Shahipour could not concede in the election. He said this was because votes had already been cast and voting had concluded.

Because of this, Shahipour was still in the race and the village finished counting absentee ballots to resolve the tie.

But Popeleski said the absentee ballots perpetuated the tie.

Stone received an additional 10 votes, bringing his total to 398, and Costa and Shahipour received about an additional 80 votes bringing their totals to 287.

The next step then is to recanvass all the votes.

The recanvassing would entail individuals from the board of elections or a curated committee to hand count all the votes cast to ensure no errors were made by the machines that scan and count the votes.

“We have to make sure that everything, that votes were counted correctly,” Popeleski said.

Popeleski said their deputy village clerk drafted a letter to the Nassau County Board of Elections to conduct a recanvassing of all the votes cast in the election to resolve the tie. The mayor said he delivered the letter to the board of election’s office Thursday afternoon.

Popeleski said the board of elections has five days to contact the village to set up an appointment for the recanvass.

If after the recanvassing of votes, there is still a tie between Costa and Shahipour, Popeleski said the village’s next step to determine the winner would be to conduct a re-election or have it decided in the Nassau County Supreme Court.

“We won’t know anything until the board of elections does the recount,” Popeleski said.

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