That conflicts with the recollections of the two officials who opened the ballots in Plymouth on election night. Democratic minority inspector Kathleen Rowan and Republican Carol Clancy, judge of elections, both said they recalled that one of the 10 ballots was marked only for the agricultural and judicial retention issues, and the spaces for candidates had been left blank.
"We thought it (the absentee ballot) was strange at the time and even made note of it," Clancy said. "We (Clancy and Rowan) talked about it and thought it was strange that somebody would go to the trouble of sending back an absentee ballot and not filling it in completely."
On the ballot was a box that voters could check to vote for candidates individually and another that could be checked to vote for a straight Republican or a straight Democratic slate of candidates. On election night,
neither of those areas were marked on one absentee ballot, Clancy said, but three days later, all the absentee ballots were marked either for individual candidates or for a straight party ticket.
"I'll tell you, if somebody filled in the ballot, it's a super job,
because I couldn't tell which was the questionable ballot," she said.
The county document expert, Cedric McKeever, conducted three tests to determine whether any of the absentee ballots appeared to show two ink types. None did.
The county is sending the 10 ballots to an FBI laboratory for a chemical test, Fasold said.
Former Plymouth Township Councilman John J. Washeleski, a Democrat who lost a bid for re-election by seven votes to Republican challenger William I. English, said the incident has caused him to question the integrity of the voting process.
"We've got two problems here," Washeleski said Thursday. "Somebody's falsified a vote and somebody's covering it up."
Washeleski said, however, that he did not think the incident was politically motivated, adding that his Republican colleagues have expressed dismay.
Olshansky, the chairwoman of Area 10 of the Democratic Committee, who pressed the case, could not be reached for comment Thursday.