Paper ballot count doesn’t change Westmoreland commissioner election results
A count of the handful of paper ballots cast in Tuesday’s election saw Democratic Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli slightly extend her lead over colleague Ted Kopas for the third and final seat on the three-member board of commissioners.
Elections bureau officials on Friday recanvassed all absentee ballots cast and tallied seven provisional ballots and 11 submitted by military members. Final results gave Cerilli a 235-vote victory, one more that she appeared to win by on Tuesday over Kopas, the other Democratic incumbent. Cerilli, 33, of Hempfield, received 35,228 votes and Kopas, 46, of Hempfield garnered 34,993 votes
Republican Sean Kertes, 33, of Greensburg, the chief of staff to retiring Commissioner Charles Anderson, was the top vote-getter with 41,379. Biochemist Doug Chew, 49, a Republican from Hempfield, finished second with 40,237 votes.
There are no mandatory recounts for countywide races and Kopas has not indicated if he intends to ask for the totals to be recounted. Kopas did not return a call seeking comment on Friday.
In addition to adding the few paper ballots cast to the final totals, elections bureau officials also confirmed the number of voters who signed in at the polls on Election Day matched the ballots cast on the touch-screen voting machines, said Elections Bureau Director Beth Lechman.
She said the certification process of Tuesday’s results will begin Monday when write-in votes are tallied and winners are officially declared. The county’s election’s board is scheduled to meet Nov. 2o to precertify the results with final certification set for Nov. 27.
Candidates will have until Nov. 27 to petition the courts for a recount, Lechman said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .