Absentee ballots were the deciding factor Thursday as Democratic candidate Scott Stairs defeated Republican incumbent Jack Holcomb Jr., 125 to 120, for Harford highway superintendent.
The two candidates were tied at 116 votes after the Nov. 5 general election.
Nine absentee ballots were sent out with eight returned and five affidavit ballots were also received, Cortland County Republican Election Commissioner Bob Howe said.
Of the eight absentee ballots received, six went to Stairs and two went to Holcomb.
Three affidavit ballots went to Stairs and two went to Holcomb.
Affidavit ballots are for people who vote in a location different from where they live, Howe said.
The addresses of the people who are voting on affidavit ballots must first be confirmed by the Board of Elections before their ballots can be opened and counted.
In the event that the race finished in a tie, various options could be used to determine a winner. These included the town board appointing a superintendent, the town board consulting with the town attorney on how municipal laws govern the situation or going to state Supreme Court, Howe said.
The counting of the absentee ballots negated the need for that. Neither Stairs nor Holcomb could be reached for comment.