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Final count: Cassuto wins Austerlitz judge race



HUDSON–The polls closed November 6, but officials at the Columbia County Board of Elections were still counting and recounting the votes early Wednesday afternoon, November 28, with official tallies in all races expected to be completed by the end of the day.

This year there were few local municipal races, with most contests on the ballot for state and national offices. But unofficial results from the voting machines released election night were reversed when absentee ballots were counted in the race for town justice in the Town of Austerlitz. Democrat David Cassuto defeated incumbent Justice William H. Hogencamp, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines. The final vote was Cassuto 371, Hogencamp 353.


Early results from the machines indicated incorrectly that Mr. Hogencamp had won with 403 votes.

In the other race where votes were recounted–the contest for tax collector in the Town of Kinderhook–the outcome was the same as the unofficial results had predicted, although the final count was much closer than the totals from the electronically scanned ballots released election night. Incumbent Deidra Curtis, on the Democratic line, retained her post with 2,171 votes, narrowly defeating challenger Patsy Leader, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines and drew a total of 2,167 votes. The results election night had Ms. Curtis winning by 24 votes.

Republican county Elections Commissioner Jason Nastke said Tuesday, November 27, that as counting progressed, both sides raised challenges to some of the ballots, and those votes had not been counted as of earlier this week. But supporters of Ms. Leader had challenged seven of the absentee or affidavit ballots for Ms. Curtis, and supporters of Ms. Curtis challenged only one of the ballots for Ms. Leader, so the uncounted ballots would not change the outcome except possibly to increase the margin of victory for Ms. Curtis.

Virginia Martin, the Democratic elections commissioner for the county, said that over 3,000 absentee and affidavit ballots were submitted during the November 6 election, all of which had to be counted by hand. As for the count still continuing more than three weeks after Election Day, Ms. Martin said, “For us, it’s not over yet.”


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