By ASHLEY HELMS
Though the primary election for the Independence Party line ended one week ago, ballots are still being calculated in the race between county Legislator Sheila Marcotte, an Eastchester Republican, and Mary Jo Jacobs, a New Rochelle Democrat.
According to unofficial numbers from the county Board of Elections, Jacobs garnered 47 votes with 100 percent of 66 districts reporting. But Marcotte, who ran as a write-in candidate after securing enough petition signatures to challenge the line, said that 105 write-in votes were cast in District 10, which includes Eastchester, Tuckahoe and parts of New Rochelle.
“In District 10, 105 people wrote something in the box,” Marcotte said. “[The ballots] are at the warehouse right now under court impoundment.”
Jacobs is vying for the county legislator seat in District 10, which has been held by Marcotte since 2010.
The legislator said Republican and Democratic representatives will meet with a county judge on Sept. 17 to discuss how to calculate the write-in ballots with the official count, including the names written on the ballots, to begin on Sept. 18. According to the Board of Elections, the final tallies will be available on Sept. 25.
“I’m optimistic; I’m up to 16 absentee ballots, too,” Marcotte said.
This is the first time Marcotte has faced a primary battle in a decade, she said. Statistics show that between 1 and 5 percent of voters show up to the polls for what are considered minor party primaries, Marcotte said, but this year, though some voting districts in Westchester didn’t cultivate any ballots, she thinks her district was active in the primary.
“We pulled out well over 10 percent of [District 10],” Marcotte said.
The Independence Party was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after Republican County Executive Robert Astorino’s campaign said Independence chairman Guilio “Doc” Cavallo endorsed New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, the Democratic challenger for the county executive seat, and other Democrats seeking county elected office out of spite after Astorino—who took office in 2010—refused to grant county jobs to people in the Independence Party who were close to Cavallo.
The Independence Party chairman endorsed Astorino in 2009 and was credited with helping the Republican win the county’s top elected seat.
The move to endorse Democrats may have proven to backfire on Cavallo as several Republican write-in candidates—Legislator Jim Maisano and candidate John Verni—seem well on their way to stealing the Independence line.
County legislators are elected to two-year terms.
Jacobs could not be reached for comment as of press time.