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Luzerne County Court rulings today mean another 13 uncounted votes can be tallied in state House race

Caitlin Mackiewicz

Another 13 provisional votes can be tallied in a Republican state House race in Luzerne County where one candidate leads the other by only three votes.

A panel of county judges upheld Wednesday the county Board of Elections and Registration’s decision against counting 22 write-in votes.

The panel also affirmed the board’s decision to count one provisional ballot and reject another.

State Rep. Mike Cabell, who trails challenger Jamie Walsh, asked the board to review the write-in votes to see if anyone wrote in his name, as well as to count the rejected provisional ballot and not count one the board accepted.

When the board refused, he appealed that decision and the one on the write-in votes to county court.

Cabell and Walsh agree 12 other provisional ballots should count, making for 13 that should.

County manager Romilda Crocamo said she had not heard of the ruling and did not immediately know when the ballots would be tallied. The board may wait until further appeals are decided, she said.

Elections board attorney Gene Molino said he needs "to review the orders with the board and further research when the provisional ballots can be counted."

He also cautioned Cabell can appeal the state Commonwealth Court. Reached Wednesday, Cabell said he needs to speak with his lawyer before deciding whether to appeal.

The current, still unofficial totals have Walsh with 4,728 votes, Cabell, 4,725.

The judges, who listened to testimony at a hearing Thursday, did not explain the basis for their decisions in their court orders.

Borys joins WVIA News from The Scranton Times-Tribune, where he served as an investigative reporter and covered a wide range of political stories. His work has been recognized with numerous national and state journalism awards from the Inland Press Association, Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association.

You can email Borys at boryskrawczeniuk@wvia.org
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