Ballston town council race gets even tighter

The tightest primary race in Saratoga County has become even tighter with just one absentee ballot that will decide which two of the three candidates will be running on the Independence Line for Ballston Town Council in the November election.

Currently, Democrats George Seymour and Jeremy Knight are tied with 34 votes, with Mary Beth Hynes, a Republican, having 33 votes.

On primary night, Sept. 15, it first looked like Seymour and Hynes had taken the Independence party line, both with 32 votes, and Knight receiving 31. Three absentee ballots changed that balance.

The one ballot that will determine who is on the Independence line in November, unless all three candidates are tied, is being challenged in court because, according to Hynes, the ballot was set aside by Pat Southworth, who represented Seymour and Knight at the opening of the absentee ballots.

[Southworth] made an objection to the ballot on the basis of a date that was printed on the outside, said Hynes.

In order to fill out an absentee ballot you have to indicate why you will be away for the vote. The person who filled out the absentee ballot is a college student who is away from March of this year to May of next year.

"To give her reason, she wrote August 2009 to May 2009. She meant to write 2010, but she forgot to jump the year and wrote '09.' Mr. Southworth objected to that and said because of that, the vote should not be counted," said Hynes.

"It was a technicality," said Hynes, who added that Southworth, Seymour and Knight are saying that the ballot should be thrown out because the wrong date was written on it.

"Obviously, I have been in full support of Seymour and Knight right along and as an Independence Party member, I endorsed them from the Independence line, and I think that they bring a new perspective and a lot of open discussion to the town council," said Patty Southworth, Ballston town supervisor.

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