MILTON, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The race for the mayor’s seat in Milton, Northumberland County is down to the smallest of margins.
Democrat Tom Abner is clinging to a one-vote lead over Republican Joe Moralez. Northumberland County has never had a political race this close. The seat for Milton’s new mayor is a difference of one ballot, which proves that every vote counts.
Northumberland County’s Board of Elections is in the process of recounting the ballots for Milton’s mayoral race.
Democrat Tom Aber is unofficially ahead of his opponent Republican Joe Moralez by one vote. Whenever a race is this close, the Board of Elections must recount each ballot.
“We are taking every ballot that came back from the machines, recounting those, and then we’ll move on to recount all of the mail-in ballots and then tomorrow we’ll open those provisionals and add them to the total to determine who the final winner was before we submit official results,” explained Nathan Savidge, Chief Registrar and Director of elections, Northumberland County Board of Elections.
The three provisional ballots cannot be opened until they’ve been publicly advertised. Savidge says with a race this close, it could result in a tie.
“If these provisionals come out and there is a tie, we move to a coin toss, which will be advertised, and then the candidates will be invited to help flip the coin and see who the winner’s going to be,” said Savidge.
Moralez says regardless of the outcome, this has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and he’s excited to see it all unfold.
“A coin flip! I mean it’s pretty interesting, it’s great. I think we’re all learning the process of our elections. It’s rare that this happens so it’s a learning experience for all of us,” stated Moralez.
Proving that a political outcome can be down to a single vote.
“It’s an exciting professional moment but it’s also an exciting moment as a voter. I mean you really do feel like it matters when it comes down to these razor-thin decisions,” explained Savidge.
We reached out to Democratic candidate Tom Aber but have not heard back. The provisional ballots will be counted Thursday morning at 10 a.m., and Eyewitness News will be there to bring you the results.