Bruce M. Peterson, the Democratic Party nominee for a six-year term on the Wayne Township Board of Supervisors whose name was omitted from the November ballot, will have to wait a bit longer for word on the next step. A hearing on Peterson’s request for a special election to decide the winner of the race took place Wednesday morning in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas before President Judge Anthony J. Vardaro. While Vardaro expressed optimism during the hearing that his decision-making would be complete before the close of business Wednesday, in the end, his ruling was not handed down before the courthouse closed. Peterson won the Democratic nod in the May 21 primary while incumbent Lee Singleton won the Republican Party nomination for the same seat. Both names qualified to appear on the township ballot for the Nov. 5 election, but the only name to appear was Singleton’s. Diane Putney Adsit, chairwoman of the Crawford County Democratic Committee and Peterson’s attorney, described the omission of Peterson’s name as “an error.”
Adsit’s assessment was echoed by assistant county attorney Keith Button, who represented the Crawford County Board of Elections during Wednesday’s hearing. “The county election board regrets the error,” Button said, noting a bit later that “the Board of Elections wants to do whatever the law says sets it right.”
“We’re agreeing that something needs to be done,” Vardaro said. “We’re not sure what.”
With three absentee ballots cast and 230 votes cast on the day of the election, Singleton received a total of 187 votes while Peterson received two write-in votes, according to official vote tabulations from the board of elections. According to Melanie Mushrush, the county’s director of elections, a total of 960 registered voters reside in the township.