ELECTION The Perry Township supervisor race remains tied following the Lawrence County Return Board's audit of Nov. 8 election.
The outcome of the election for Perry Township supervisor remains unsettled.
A complaint filed about the campaign also is unresolved.
Michael Laveing and Dori McElwain remained tied with 264 votes for the six-year term, according to an audit conducted by the Lawrence County Return Board. The board finished its canvass of the Nov. 8 election, and reported the results yesterday.
Candidates have until 4 p.m. Monday to petition for a recount. They normally would have a five-day period from the day that books are presented to the Lawrence County Board of Elections for signing, but because the fifth day falls on Sunday, the time has been extended by one day.
Laveing, a Republican, said yesterday he is considering petitioning for a recount, while McElwain, a Democrat, said she is isn't. Both are incumbents.
If there is no recount, or if the candidates remain tied following a recount, the winner would be determined by a drawing.
Meanwhile, the elections board postponed action on a complaint filed by Laveing regarding an advertisement that appeared Nov. 5 in the Ellwood City Ledger. Laveing said he was not given enough time to respond to the ad, which was placed by McElwain and Keith Beachem, and contended that it was a violation of the state's campaign expense reporting law.
Laveing said he was held to the "eight-day rule," a section of state elections law that says an opposing candidate must be notified of an ad if it is run within eight days of an election. He said McElwain and Beachem were not held to that rule.
"It's a double standard is my contention," Laveing said after the meeting.
Attorney Michael Frisk Jr., representing McElwain and Beachem, said the state Supreme Court has said that section of the law is unconstitutional, adding that the secretary of the commonwealth said it's unenforceable.
Attorney Thomas Leslie, the board's solicitor, said the case Frisk was referring to deals with an old statute. He said that if the board were to determine there was a violation, all it could do would be to refer the matter to the district attorney. The board has no enforcement power.
Frisk also contended that a complaint letter filed by Michael Sinclair actually was signed by Laveing and should be a matter for review by the board. Leslie said the only matter before the board yesterday was the ad. Frisk said the letter was relevant to the advertisement issue, adding that he planned to file a complaint with the board.
Following discussion, Leslie recommended that the matter be continued. The board plans to meet on Dec. 7 to discuss the case.