Long Reach village recount sought

Columbia Council race runner-up makes request after her 13-vote defeat

April 20, 1999|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

The losing candidate in Saturday's race for the Long Reach village seat on the Columbia Council asked for a recount yesterday.

Deborah Tolson, who lost to incumbent council representative Cecilia Januszkiewicz by 13 votes, submitted her request in writing to the village's three-member Election Committee.

Tolson, a community activist making her first bid for local office, received 101 votes to 114 for Januszkiewicz, an assistant state attorney general.

John Snyder, chairman of the Long Reach election committee, said Tolson's request has been forwarded to the village attorney, Thomas M. Meachum, for review.

"We went out of our way to make sure that things were done properly," Snyder said. "We're all interested in making sure that everything is understood properly and the results are fair and square."

Tolson, who was present when the ballots were counted, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Januszkiewicz called Tolson's request "much ado about nothing."

The election "was very well-run, very well-organized and very well-documented," said Januszkiewicz. "I don't think there is anything that is going to change. The rules were followed. She didn't like the rules to begin with. She thought they were unfair, but they were the rules.

"If she wants a recount, she can have a recount."

Januszkiewicz raised the issue of renters' voting rights several weeks before election day, saying that according to election rules, residents who rent rather than own property had to bring copies of their leases to the polls to verify residency.

Tolson, a renter, complained that the rule hadn't been consistently enforced. She accused Januszkiewicz of trying to make it difficult for tenants to vote.

Election officials said Saturday that few renters were turned away because they did not have their leases.

Snyder said the Election Committee has 25 days to respond to Tolson's request.

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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