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Write-in votes slow ballot count in Manassas Park

MANASSAS PARK, Va. — The ballot count continues Monday in Manassas Park.

While Jeanette Rishell will ascend to the Mayor’s seat in January, unseating Frank Jones who held the position for 12 years, we still await the results of three open council seats.

Only one person — Donald Shuemaker — filed his paperwork with Manassas Park City’s voter registration office. A total of seven other people ran as write-in candidates.

“These write-in votes have slowed everything down,” said Manassas Park General Registrar Patricia Brendel.

More than 4,000 votes were cast in three precincts in the city. Each of the write-in votes must be reviewed by the city’s Electoral Board for accuracy, and to make sure the person who cast a vote is indeed registered to vote in the city.

At least two ballots were sent to the state’s Office of Elections for further review. Other questionable ballots were checked against a database of registered voters in the city, said Brendel.

Some errors were found, and not all ballots will be counted, she added.

These write-in races are close, with one count being separated by just two votes, added Brendel. The results of Tuesday’s election are expected to be posted today, she added.

Brendel said that she expected the results to be delayed because of the multiple write-in candidates. She encouraged all future candidates to file paperwork with her office in advanced so that their names can be printed on the ballot, thus speeding up the election results process.

“The problem was not to get candidates to register their paperwork with us before the deadline. The problem was getting the candidates to file any paperwork at all,” said Brendel .

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