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Simmons-Deely Race In Play with 750 Votes Uncounted

Lehigh County election officials say there are too many additional ballots left to count to call the hotly contested race for the 131st district

Election night left state Rep. Justin Simmons looking like a winner but county officials today say the outcome of the 131st House race is not yet certain.

Hundreds of ballots are still to be counted. It's expected to take weeks to finalize the outcome.

"I'd say there are between 750 and 1,000 ballots left to count," said Lehigh County election official Tim Benyo. 

A preliminary tally without those ballots shows Simmons with a 562-vote lead.

"It's definitely too tight to call this race [for the 131st district] yet," Benyo told Patch on Wednesday morning.

Ballots still to be counted include:

  • 132 provisional ballots for the 131st district
  • Military ballots that may pertain to the 131st district
  • More than 200 ballots from individuals who showed up to polls with no identification whatsoever. Under Act 18, voters have six days to show identification at the Lehigh County election office
  • Several ballots from emergency responders that may pertain to the 131st district

Simmons, 26, of Upper Saucon Township, won the 131st seat two years ago. He graduated from St. Joseph's University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Simmons is a Southern Lehigh graduate. 

His opponent is Democrat Kevin Deely, 36, of Upper Saucon - a high school teacher and former president of the Easton Area Education Association.

slyfox November 07, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Oh my, how exciting! I love a close race!
Paula November 07, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I can't wait to hear them announce Rep.Justin Simmons as the genlemen to take that seat !!
Lynn Ebert Zeiner November 07, 2012 at 06:10 PM
We don't need ID!!! Why: More than 200 ballots from individuals who showed up to polls with no identification whatsoever. Under Act 18, voters have six days to show identification at the Lehigh County election office THis makes no sense.
Carl November 07, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I think first time voters need to show some ID to verify the signature that will be in the books.
Interested Observer November 07, 2012 at 08:24 PM
First time voters or those who have not voted in 5 years and are listed as inactive need to show ID. This has NOTHING to do with the voter id law and has been on the books for decades.
Joyce Mooore November 07, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Still hoping that Kevin Deely wins this race, as he is the better candidate by far!
cheryl grega November 07, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I agreed!!
Resident of Hosensack November 08, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I hope Deely wins too. Simmons told a group when he first ran for State Rep that he believed in "one termers". Do your job for the Government and the people, then go home. Deely is for education. Time for new blood.
Jeremy November 08, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Joyce, since you are a teacher it's no surprise you hope Deely wins he will protect your high salary. As a small business owner, taxpayer and a person that watched the debates I hope he loses. The guy is a moron.
Jeremy November 08, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Simmons said three terms as state rep and he is out. Deely is for teacher's unions, not education.
Tanya Bryant November 08, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Great news from The Express Times!! http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2012/11/uncounted_ballots_could_revers.html#incart_river_default Kevin is an English teacher not a math teacher which might explain his problem adding up the votes, Time to put on the big boy panties and concede Kevin you lost. I am sure Easton taxpayers are getting tired of paying for substitute teachers so you can play wannabe politician. Bye Bye
Carol November 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
This race is a classic example of why our corrupt two party system has to go. You have a union shill running against a tea party puppet who is incapable of an original thought or idea.
Fae Danner November 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Joyce, why is Deely the better candidate? I watched the debates and he wasn't even aware of all of the issues being presented. Or is it that he is planning to do what Justin Simmons did - refuse raises, refuse the use of a government car, and promising to run for only two terms? I didn't know that! He should have mentioned it. Justin has served this district honestly, wisely, introduced legislation, and went beyond his civic duty by giving up perks to which he was entitled. Just what are you looking for in a Representative? Seriously! I find the conclusions at which many people arrive to be, not surprisingly, at the very least, interesting! Even more interesting in the face of the tenacity with which teachers fight for their ultra high pensions and tenure, whether or not warranted by their effectiveness and productivity in their profession.
Fae Danner November 09, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Let me correct you. Justin Simmons said he would run for two terms because he is a believer in term limits. He NEVER said anything about believing in "one termers." Also, do you think only teachers are for education? Frankly, while I hope that most are for the education of the students, their issues in their strikes have been, to the best of my recollection, related to their pay and pensions. Perhaps, though, that is your perspective on "education?" In any event, there are many issues, in addition to education, involved in being a State Representative; and Justin Simmons has handled them honestly and effectively!

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