Board of Elections preparing for absentee ballots before declaring election winners

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Several county legislature races and the race for Irondequoit town supervisor are too close to call. So what happens next?

The Board of Elections is preparing for those absentee ballots to come in and get everything in place for possible recounts.

“It’s always an adrenaline-rushed day on Election Day and it’s kind of coming down from all of the activity,” Monroe County Democratic Commissioner Jackie Ortiz said.

However, the work is just getting started.

“There’s still plenty of things to do at this point,” Ortiz said. “There is a lot of unpacking and cataloging and researching and just a number of different steps that have to happen at this point."

Ortiz said there are still several races that could be decided by the absentee ballot count.

Some of those include County Legislature 13th, 16th and 26th District.

In Irondequoit, Joe Morelle Jr. (D-WF) is facing Republican Rory Fitzpatrick (R). Fitzpatrick holds a slim lead and republicans are declaring victory but the race is still not called.

“Everything even on the website right now it’s unofficial results because it’s only early voting and election day machine results,” Fitzpatrick said.

Joe Morelle Jr. issued a statement saying:

“To everyone who voted and participated in our democracy, thank you for making your voices heard.
As we await the final outcome and the counting of absentee ballots, I want to congratulate Rory Fitzpatrick on a hard-fought campaign. We share the same fundamental goal: to support and strengthen the incredible community we call home. The future of Irondequoit remains bright, and I am hopeful for what lies ahead.”

Fitzpatrick also issued a statement saying:

"I look forward to seeing the final results. Thanks all who have supported me."

“There were a number of affidavits that were cast over at the polling sites so as long as they are timely postmarked, the next several days we have to take a look at all of those, catalog them, count them as well as the absentees at this point,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said as long as they are timely postmarked they have until Nov. 9 to be received by the Board of Elections and Nov. 15 for any military and or special federal absentee ballots.

“Now with all of the automatic recount provisions that were put into place at the end of last year then there are still potential other steps we would have to take depending on how close a race is,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said those thresholds to trigger an automatic recount include any race that’s within 0.5% of each other in regards to the candidates and or 20 votes or less.

She said they plan to open all the affidavits and absentee ballots on Nov. 15 and hope to have the races called soon after.