OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – Beginning this morning, the Oswego County Board of Elections will start to count paper ballots that were submitted for the 2007 General Election.
First on deck, the two candidates for VolneyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s 11th District seat on the Oswego County Legislature will find out if the incumbent loss stands.
Paul Natoli, who ran for reelection on the Democratic and Conservative party lines, brought in 383 votes at the polls last week. That total fell 51 votes short of Republican challenger Linda LockwoodÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s unofficial total of 434 votes.
Lockwood said that 53 paper ballots were requested for the race. By last count, she said she knew that 40 had been returned.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI know I have at least four of those,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lockwood said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAs it stands right now, (Natoli) still canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t beat me.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Lockwood noted, however, that she was unsure if Natoli would take the process one step further.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf it is close, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know if he will ask for a recount,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â she said.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAs of right now, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have any worries,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lockwood added. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBut I guess you never know what could happen. … Hopefully there wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“t be any problems.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Natoli said Tuesday that he is unsure whether the process will advance beyond today.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt will depend on how close it is,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Natoli said.
While disappointed in the results on election day, Natoli said he is proud of his efforts in this yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s campaign season.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe only thing I can say is that I ran a clean campaign,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Natoli said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThough I lost the election, I feel I won as a person because I ran based on the facts.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Natoli said that he faced some negativity and noted that there was some misinformation circulating during the campaign. Regardless of the results of todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s count, Natoli said he is proud of the things he has done as a legislator.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI did my best,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis county was in need of change. That is why I ran the first time. Did I make a difference? Definitely… for the better.
If officially unseated today, Natoli noted that he has not decided whether he would seek a position on the Legislature in the future.
A longtime member of the Volney Town Board, Lockwood said that she will serve in that position until Jan. 1, 2008 before stepping down if her election to the Legislature is confirmed.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThen the board can appoint someone to serve for the last two years of my term,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â she said.
Lockwood said she opted to run for the legislature midway through her council term so that she could keep that position if her county bid was unsuccessful. She noted that a couple of people have come forward with an interest in the appointment.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI can make a recommendation but I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t vote on it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lockwood said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt would be a board decision.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Following the 11th District count, ballots will be counted in the following order:
- Oswego, Sixth Ward Alderman
- Oswego, Fourth Ward Alderman
- Constantia Councilman
- Minetto Supervisor
- Minetto Councilman
- Oswego Town Councilman
- Parish Councilman
- Redfield Town Clerk
- Albion write-in votes
- Redfield write-in votes
- Williamstown write-in votes
The paper ballot counting will begin at 10 a.m., and stop at 5 p.m. If necessary, it will continue starting at 10 a.m., Thursday. Unofficial voter totals remain available on the Oswego County Web site.