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Who's the judge? Ballot review increases Slaton's lead over Vanden Brook

Tegan Slaton on Wednesday increased his narrow lead over Mary Vanden Brook in the race for Monroe County Circuit Court judge following the review of 43 provisional ballots by Monroe County's Election Canvassing Board -- but there are still 31 votes that have yet to be reviewed.

When poll results came in Tuesday night, Slaton's lead was a meager nine votes, 16,442 to 16,433. That didn't include 74 provisional ballots that had been flagged for review.

Following Wednesday's review, Slaton's lead increased to 15 votes.

A ballot is deemed provisional when staff at the Supervisor of Elections Office identifies a discrepancy such as a signature on a voter registration card not matching the signature on the mailed-in absentee ballot or improperly marked ballots.

The Canvassing Board comprises judges Wayne Miller and Ruth Becker and county Tax Collector Danise Henriquez. The group is charged with investigating questionable ballots and must reach a majority vote before a flagged ballot can be counted as valid.

The board will meet again Thursday to review the remaining 31 provisional ballots. Judging by the current numbers, Vanden Brook has little chance to win.

Whoever wins the race takes the place of Judge Sandra Taylor, who is retiring. The term is for six years and the salary is $140,000 annually.