Forever Lebanon Valley

Commissioners Phillips and Litz Argue Over Elections Law

The normally routine and fairly serene business of conducting the computation of vote totals from Tuesday’s municipal election was anything but calm this morning.

The sessions started with a dust-up between Chairman Commissioner Bob Phillips and Minority Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, over a request Litz made Wednesday morning to Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello during the final recording of mail-in and absentee ballots that had come in on election day.

Litz said the mayor was breaking elections law by being in the room as those ballots were being opened, and standing within a foot of elections staff as they counted the ballots.

But Phillips read straight from state elections code, which states that because Capello was a candidate on the ballot, she had the right to be in the room:

He said Litz embarrassed the mayor and owed her a public apaology.

but Litz, who is not known for making ready apologies when challenged, refused to do so:

As for computation, it’s still not finished due to over ten thousand write-in votes that were cast. They must be scrutinized and tallied.

There’s a possibility that the write-in votes could impact at least two area school board races.

The county elections board will reassemble Monday at 1PM, giving elections staff enough time to count those votes.