Absentee ballot count brings upsets in Amherst, Evans

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Tuesday was the first day that Erie County Board of Elections inspectors began counting the absentee ballots.

With almost half of all the absentee ballots counted across the county, John Garcia’s lead has shrunk from more than 5,000 to just over four thousand but elections officials project he will still come out on top in the race against Kim Beaty for Erie County Sheriff.

The absentees strengthened the lead for Erie County Legislator John Gilmour who won a close race against Frank Bogulski in the 9th legislative district covering Hamburg and Lackawanna.

In the Town Evans, retired teacher Laurie Reitz came in trailing by 13 votes, but the absentees gave her the win by 45 votes. “I never ran for office before. I was asked to step up. I’ve been community volunteering my entire life and thought I could bring some positiveness,” said Reitz.

Although several candidates expanded their leads, Erie County Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr notes that there are some that have switched. “In the town of Amherst, Jacqualine Berger seems to have retained the Council seat. She was behind on Election day and has picked up on the absentees and the mail in ballots. Also, the Town of Cheektowaga , one Republican has finally made it to the town board,” said Mohr.

Elections inspectors are scheduled to begin examining the write in ballots on Wednesday to determine whether or not Byron Brown has enough to claim a fifth term as mayor of Buffalo.

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