OB ELECTION: Norris Wins, Pace Unseated – Absentee Ballots Turned the Tide

 combined, Trustee Matthew Blake was the leader, winning his seat back with 321 votes. Brian Power who was running unopposed to retain the remainder of his three-year term also did respectably well with 298 votes. Norris took in 259 votes, and Pace 225 votes. It should also be noted that Ocean Beach resident Larry Litoff attracted some momentum as a write-in candidate with 20 votes. *“I’m honored,” said a weary, soft-spoken Norris after a long day at the polls. “I look forward to a better future for our little village.”Early in the count it first appeared things might end differently. Norris trailed behind Pace by 12 votes, with a public counter registering 373 walk-in ballots cast during election hours. However there were 118 absentee ballots, and they made a critical difference.A dozen of the paper absentee ballots in sealed envelopes were set aside unopened for challenging, but that exercise never happened because it was ultimately proven a moot point. Challenged or unchallenged, the votes would not have been “outcome determinative” as per Ocean Beach Village Attorney Peter Bee.Emotions ran high, but all were gracious in the end. New terms of office become effective July 4, 2015.* EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article stated that Deputy Mayor Greg Pace captured 223 votes, a count based on raw data collected at the polls on election night. This number has been corrected to 225 votes as per official release of the count by Ocean Beach Village Hall on June 8, 2015.Trustee-elect Christopher Norris consulting with Ocean Beach resident John Moran before the final vote was determined.