A Gramercy Board of Alderman candidate who lost a Saturday runoff election by one vote said Wednesday he will not challenge the results.
Republican Rhonda Lee defeated Democrat Craig Calcagno 93 votes to 92 votes in the race for District 3 alderman, according to complete election returns.
The candidates were vying to fill the remaining 21/2 years of the term of former board member Alvin “Shark” St. Pierre Jr., who ran for St. James Parish Council last fall and won.
Lee also led the three-person primary on March 24.
“It was a hard pill to swallow, you know? One vote. I had to go back and look at everything,” Calcagno said.
Calcagno said he met with the St. James Parish clerk of court and registrar of voters about the vote tallies. He said he does not feel there is any point in challenging the results.
St. James Parish Clerk of Court Edmond Kinler Jr. said Wednesday voting machines were opened Tuesday and the votes checked out.
Kinler said Lee and Calcagno tied in voting on Saturday, 84 to 84, but Lee prevailed in early voting, 9 to 8.
The election had a 27 percent voter turnout.
Kinler said Calcagno received eight votes in early voting on the clerk’s office machines but two mail-in absentee ballots went for Lee in addition to her machine votes, giving her the 9-8 advantage.
Calcagno said he did find a three-vote discrepancy in the number of signatures in the book voters sign before they vote and the actual number of votes cast. The book has 188 signatures while 185 votes were cast, he said.
Calcagno said he spoke with Registrar of Voters Lisa Granier-Medine and she told him voters may have gone into the booth and decided not to vote.
Calcagno said another possibility is that voters may have hit the button for a candidate but not hit it all the way and then pressed a separate button to cast the vote and leave the booth. He said at that point it would be too late to return to the booth.
The parish has computerized touch-screen voting machines. The Gramercy race was the only election on the Saturday ballot in St. James Parish.
Calcagno said he was assured the voting machines are 100 percent accurate in tallying the votes cast.
Granier-Medine was not available for comment Wednesday. Lee did not return a message left at her home Wednesday.
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