Unofficial absentee totals suggest Dems take control of Monroe County Legislature

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Election Night was almost two weeks ago and some races in Monroe County are still undecided, but that changed Monday after the Board of Elections finished counting absentee ballots.

News10NBC is looking at the outcomes of key contests — including races that will determine the balance of power in the County Legislature. Several legislature races, including the race for Irondequoit town supervisor, are too close to call. There are some races that will be determined by the absentee ballots.

Affidavit and absentee ballots began being counted around 10 a.m. The results were published online at around 6 p.m.

Based on the unofficial absentee results released Monday, it appears Democrats won three close seats in the Monroe County Legislature, including the seat currently occupied by Joe Carbone, the president of the Legislature. The Legislature appears to have 15 seats occupied by Democrats and 14 by Republicans.

The race for Irondequoit Town Supervisor was also close, but it appears Rory Fitzpatrick beat Democrat Joe Morelle Jr.

See the unofficial results below (mobile users, click here):

GE21 Contest Oviewview – ABS_AFF by News10NBC on Scribd

Some of the closer races may need to be re-counted.

As News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey showed you last week, the BOE has been preparing.

On Monday, News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkely Brean spoke to Monroe County Republican Commissioner Lisa Nicolay, who said there were about 7,500 ballots to go through. She said the ballots get scanned in by bipartisan teams.

"People will have to take the early voting and day of results and add them to the absentee results to see, so they have to do the math themselves tonight and see what happens," Nicolay said. " We never declare winners. we’ll probably have to do some recounts this year."

Additionally, Brean spoke to Yversha Roman, who is running for a legislative spot.

The Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair sent the following statement Monday night:

“While there are still votes to be counted—and we believe that every vote should be counted—unofficial tallies of the affidavit and absentee ballots from the November 2 election put Democratic legislative candidates within the margin of victory to take a 15-14 majority in the Monroe County Legislature. I want to congratulate Michael Yudelson in LD13, Dave Long in LD16, and Minority Leader Yversha Roman in LD26—whose races were decided by today’s counts—and all our legislative candidates for their victories in some very hard-fought races.

“This is a historic—albeit still unofficial—day in Monroe County: it’s the first time Democrats have held a majority in the Monroe County Legislature in 30 years. In the eye of a Republican hurricane across our state and country, Monroe County Democrats held their ground and gained more.

"But this is about more than Democrats having control: this is about voters choosing Legislators who are willing and ready to work with County Executive Adam Bello to tackle the very pressing issues our community faces: helping families and businesses recover from the pandemic; making much-needed investments in infrastructure; addressing challenges in public safety and mental health; and keeping our schools safe and open.

“There are other races we had our eye on that also deserve mention. Congratulations to Chuck Steinman who will become the first-ever Democratic Town Justice in the Town of Perinton; Stephanie Townsend who retained her seat on the Pittsford Town Council; incumbent Rush Town Supervisor Gerry Kusse and incoming Town Councilmembers Jeanne Morelli and Daniel Chase for their sweep of Rush town government; and Judge Doug Randall who retained his seat as Monroe County’s most experienced County Court Judge, as well as Caroline Edwards-Morrison being elected to the bench.

“Again, these results are unofficial and do not include the hand counts that will take place this week. However, I do not anticipate they will change the course of any of these races based on the number of ballots remaining.”

Rochester Chapter Chair for the Working Families Party Stevie Vargas sent the following statement:

We’re thrilled that the Working Families Party ballot line is set to deliver the first Democratic majority in the Monroe County Legislature in decades. It’s imperative now that our new majority makes good on its promise to working people by investing in equitable community resources, climate resiliency, emergency mental health response, and truly affordable housing. Our membership looks forward to working with our Working Families Democrats to achieve these priorities.”

News10NBC asked the Monroe County Republican Committee for a statement but has not yet heard back.