Syracuse Mayoral Dem. primary: More ballots arrive at Board of Elections, almost 600 votes still to be counted

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The race that was too close to call on Primary Night is even harder to predict as the Onondaga County Board of Elections gets more eligible ballots that will go toward both candidates’ totals.

Nearly 600 votes will decide if Khalid Bey or Michaele Greene will go on to be the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Syracuse.

Bey leads by 46 votes.

On Wednesday, the staff at the Onondaga County Board of Elections ruled on affidavit ballots, 35 of which have been deemed countable toward the Syracuse Democratic Mayoral Primary.

Affidavit ballots are basically emergency ballots given to voters whose names don’t show up on the lists given to poll site workers, but feel they’re entitled to vote in that particular location. A handful of affidavits were ruled invalid.

As of close of business Wednesday, the Onondaga County Board of Elections had received 558 absentee ballots in the mail from voters. More are expected to trickle in by mail Thursday and Friday, and possibly Monday.

Up to 665 ballots still outstanding could be included in the total if they were postmarked by Tuesday, June 22 and arrive at the Board of Elections by June 29.

In an interview with NewsChannel 9, Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says he expects the total number to fall “somewhere in the middle” of the current 558 and the possible total of 1,223.

“This is one of the closest I’ve seen for a race this size I’ve seen in my time as commissioner,” said Czarny.

Next Tuesday, campaign staff will observe election staff as they open the absentee ballots.

The current 46-vote margin is 0.8%, but if the outstanding ballots bring the difference to 0.5%, a new law will automatically trigger a hand count of all paper ballots.

The Board of Elections expects to have absentees counted within the day of Tuesday, June 29. A hand count would begin July 1. The board’s certification deadline is July 6.

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