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Early voting ballots to be recounted in Onondaga County

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo

Despite having the lowest voter turnout since 2015, Onondaga County saw a slight increase in early voting this year. A total of 9,727 county residents voted early–about 1,300 more early votes than the previous local elections in 2019.

Now, as the Board of Elections prepares to start counting absentee ballots on Tuesday, they will first have to recount their early voting ballots. This recount comes as an 802 ballot discrepancy was found during the recanvassing process.

“We found out that there were three days in two different sites where the election results were zero reported,” said Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny. “And obviously, that's a mistake by the poll worker in the way they close down their machine.”

Czarny said he discussed the discrepancy with the State Board of Elections before deciding on a recount.

“The easiest and best way to comprehensively do this is to rescan all 10,000 ballots from early voting,” he said. “So those 800 ballots are counted, and included in the final counts.”

The two different sites were in Dewitt and on Syracuse’s east side.

“It was October 25 and October 30 at Dewitt Town Hall, and October 28 at Armond Magnarelli Center,” said Czarny.

Despite the location of these errors, Czarny said it’s hard to say which races this will impact since residents can vote at any of the early voting locations regardless of their designated polling sites.

“There weren't really any close races in Dewitt or Syracuse,” he said. “So maybe the Manlius races that are all pretty close will probably have the most impact.”

In fact, there are still a few close races in Manlius according to unofficial election results. In the race for Town Supervisor, Democrat John Deer is just 72 votes ahead of Republican Richard Rossetti. For Town Justice, Republican James Hughes is ahead of Democrat David Rothschild by just 19 votes.

The recount will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and continue over the weekend if necessary. Absentee ballots will start being counted on Tuesday.

Madison Ruffo received a Master’s Degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in audio and health/science reporting. Madison has extensively covered the environment, local politics, public health, and business. When she’s not reporting, you can find Madison reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.