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Onondaga County races tighten after recount as absentee counting set to begin

WRVO News (file photo)

On Friday, the Onondaga County Board of Elections recounted all early voting ballots after a mishap resulted in 802 ballots not being counted. While no results will be final until all absentee ballots are counted, the recount did tighten–even flip–some races.

Prior to the recount, there were tight races across the county including in Manlius. There the Democratic candidate for Town Supervisor, John Deer, was just 72 votes ahead of Republican Richard Rossetti. For Town Justice, Republican James Hughes was ahead of Democrat David Rothschild by just 19 votes.

After the recount, Deer has a lead of 201 votes over Rossetti, and–in a flip–Hughes is now trailing Rothschild by 91 votes. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said he expected some races in Manlius to change since they were already tight races and the nearby early voting site in Dewitt was one of the culprits in the ballot discrepancy.

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

However, there are still 673 absentee ballots and 39 affidavits to consider, which could throw each race in either direction.

“The absentee universe is heavily Democratic in Manlius giving the Manlius candidates in the lead there a high likelihood of surviving,” said Czarny.

Other races Czarny said he’s keeping an eye on are Onondaga County Legislature’s 10th District seat, Geddes Town Board, and Solvay’s mayoral race.

“Those three have the highest likelihood of changing with the absentee universe that is out,” said Czarny.

In the legislature, Democrat Heather Waters is closing the gap between her and her Republican opponent, Mark Olsen. Olsen now only has a 270 vote lead over Waters with 599 absentees to count.

Geddes Town Councilor is a one-vote race between Marcia Ferguson and John Loebbler with 368 absentee ballots to count. And in Solvay, there is only a 22-vote margin between Republican incumbent Derek Baichi and his Democratic opponent Deb DeGilio.

In October, Baichi was stripped of his check-writing abilities after two village trustees alleged that he wrote checks from the Solvay Electric Fund without proper authorization. Earlier this year, DeGilio said she decided to run to stop the “turmoil” surrounding the village’s current mayor.

Czarny said that while he expects the absentees to favor the GOP, the race has been so volatile that anything within a 20-vote margin will most likely be hand-counted.

The town and village of Camillus had two separate propositions to ban marijuana sales on the ballots this year. After the recount, the village’s proposition failed by just four votes, but it passed in the town by 151 votes. However, there are enough absentee ballots in Camillus to see either of those results flip.

The races will officially be called on November 24.

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.