Oswego County legislator says incorrect ballots may have cost him election

Doug Malone poses for a photo at his auto shop Wednesday morning.

An outspoken Oswego County legislator tells CNY Central he may go to court over a ballot issue that he says may have cost him the election Tuesday night.

Democrat Doug Malone lost his re-election bid for a ninth term to Republican Joseph Susino by just eight votes. The totals were 246 for Malone to 254 votes for Susino.

Malone says there was a mix-up at the polling station at the Oswego Town Hall. He says at least nine voters were told to vote in a neighboring legislative district.

"This is not about sour grapes," says Malone, but he feels that his constituents were shortchanged.

Malone says he learned from a neighbor that until 10:30 Tuesday morning, nine voters living in his district were given the incorrect ballots.

"There is no issue here," says
Oswego County Elections Commissioner Richard Atkins
. He pointed out nine people who live in Malone's district along Route 104 east of the City of Oswego were mistakenly placed in a neighboring district, but says the problem was corrected. He knows of only one person who may have voted in the incorrect district.

"This won't do a thing to the certification process
," Atkins said.

Malone says he's contacting a lawyer to look into the possibility of impounding the ballots.

The election however, may be decided by some 25 absentee ballots which will be counted on November 12.

Susino, Malone's opponent, says he heard about the ballot problems and said "I expected him (Malone) to do that because it was such a close election."

When asked about his reaction to his initial victory, Susino said, "I am excited. This is the third time that I've run against him. People have spoken, and it's time for a change."