Chester County will count 14 of the 15 unopened provisional ballots in a tight state House race, following a County Court order.

West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta is 18 votes ahead of Republican State Rep. Dan Truitt in the contest for the 156th District seat. Comitta said the county should count every eligible vote, which she argued included the 15 provisional ballots.

County officials said 14 of the voters' registration applications arrived too late and the 15th voter was registered in another county. Judge Jacqueline Cody agreed with those officials about the 15th voter and instructed them not to count her provisional ballot.

Samuel Stretton, Comitta's lawyer, and Guy Donatelli, Truitt's lawyer, said they accepted the judge's decision and would not appeal. Officials will open the sealed provisional ballots within the next few days.

Before the judge's ruling, Truitt said he planned to ask for a recount. The three-term legislator did not respond to requests for comment through his lawyer Thursday.

In a brief court order filed late Wednesday afternoon, Cody said: "The fourteen voter registration applications received by the Department of State and forwarded to Chester County Voter Services are deemed to have been timely filed and the provisional ballots cast by these fourteen voters shall be counted."

The 15th voter originally applied to vote in Montgomery County, then switched her voter registration to Chester County because that is where she attends school. Her Montgomery County application overrode her Chester County application, so she was registered in Montgomery County on Election Day.

The West Chester mayor applauded the judge's decision.

"As the League of Women Voters says, your vote is your voice," Comitta said. "So 14 more voices will be heard in this election."

610-313-8207 @MichaelleBond