MAHANOY CITY — Every vote really does count. In Schuylkill County, just three votes stood between the two candidates running for mayor in Mahanoy City.
Mahanoy City’s incumbent mayor Nancy Petritsch beat her opponent Dennis Wiessner by only three votes.
Wiessner, a Vietnam vet, said he can’t leave the race and not challenge the count. That’s why he’s asked election officials to recount the votes.
“Anything mechanical can go wrong so hey, maybe we had too many write-ins, maybe not enough write-ins. I would like to see for sure what the results were,” said Wiessner.
Mayor Nancy Petritsch says asking for a recount is Wiessner’s right but believes the voting machines are accurate.
There is another legal hurdle Wiessner must face: a felony conviction more than 40 years ago.
The Schuylkill County district attorney says if the man who lost the election based on the unofficial results, wins, then she’ll challenge it in court because the Pennsylvania Constitution states no one convicted of a felony can hold public office.
“I think it was $50 for the turkey incident and $25 for repair of a fence. So I don’t think that deserves a felony after 47 years,” Wiessner said.
Tammy Davies believes the felony conviction should count.
“I don’t want somebody to say I did this when I was young and stupid and now I’m doing better. Well, I am glad you’re doing better but I still don’t want you representing me.”
Bob Borrusky isn’t sure what to think.
“I don’t think he’s wasting his time I think they can have a forgiveness program because what he stole was food.”
Election officials say the vote count may become clearer when the ballots are certified next week.