Talbot candidates await absentee ballots
EASTON — Absentee votes may decide the fifth person elected to the Talbot County Council and the winner of the District 4 school board seat.
The Talbot County Board of Elections sent out 1,099 absentee ballots (527 to Democrats, 386 Republican and 186 other), according to the state elections board website. By Tuesday, the county had received 763 absentee ballots back (350 from Democrats, 296 Republican and 117 other).
In the county council race, only 227 votes separate Republican candidate Frank Divlio, who finished fifth, according to unofficial early voting and Election Day results. Divilio had 7,630 votes.
Democratic candidate Keasha Haythe was in sixth with 7,403 votes.
Republican incumbents Corey Pack with 8,210 votes and Chuck Callahan with 8,095 votes were in third and fourth place, respectively.
Republican incumbent Laura Price led the field with 8,525 votes and Democratic candidate Pete Lesher had 8,281, for a 71-vote lead over Pack.
“There is always some movement,” Pack said about the absentee counts. “I felt that Keasha Haythe
ran a very strong campaign, if she comes up and someone goes down, then that wouldn’t be a surprise to me, because I felt that she was just as qualified to sit on the council as anyone else. I think there is a small separation between myself and Pete Lesher.”
With Lesher’s election to the county council, he must resign from the Easton Town Council, where he represents the second ward. State law prohibits a person from holding more than one “office of gain,” and both town council and county council offices are classified that way.
“There is a salary attached to them,” Lesher said. “If I were on the town planning commission, that is volunteer service, but the town council
and county council, I may not serve both. I will need to resign from town council before I am sworn in for the county.”
The town charter requires a special election to fill his position. His term expires May 2019. Lesher has been on the town council since May 2009.
“So to fill the remainder of my time, the town will have an election regardless,” Lesher said. “There is a scheduled election already this coming May for the mayor and for the council for the positions of ward one and ward three. I think they will schedule the ward to my office for that same date.”
In the District 4 school board race, Emily Jackson topped the race with 50.4 percent, or 952 votes, according to unofficial results. Martha Darling Sparks received 925 votes, 49 percent of the vote. Although there only is a 27vote margin separating Jackson
and Sparks, Jackson said she is not worried about the absentee counts.
“I am pleasantly surprised, excited, honored and humbled about the results because I’m excited about what comes next,” said Jackson. “I don’t expect any surprises about absentee ballots, I looked at very carefully and I see many ballots that are out there. I looked at the percentage who already won and the percentage to get to continue to win, and I feel pretty confident that the ballots coming in won’t change much.”
The first count of absentee ballots will take place at 10 a.m. today, provisional ballots will be counted at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, and the second absentee ballot count will be 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16.
For more information, visit www.results.elections.mar yland.gov.