Luzerne County’s approach to tallying write-in votes has come under fire, prompting a lengthy debate at last week’s county council meeting. West Hazleton Borough Councilman James Bucky Kulaga raised the issue along with several council members, questioning why the the county election board didn’t declare him a Democratic write-in winner in the borough council race after the May 17 primary. Kulaga, who won one of the four Republican nominations, said 10 Democratic write-in votes were required to receive that party’s nomination.
He said it was “obvious” 14 Democrats wanted him to receive the nomination because there were seven write-ins for James Kulaga, six for James Bucky Kulaga and one for Bucky Kulaga. His name appeared as James Bucky Kulaga on the Republican ballot.
Charles Robert Karchner Jr., who also was on the ballot and secured a Republican nomination in the same race, should have received credit for another Democratic write-in slot, Kulaga said. There were two Democratic write-in votes for Charles Karchner Jr., one for Charles Karchner and seven for Charles Robert Karchner Jr., Kulaga told county council.