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Early vote = late result


GHENT—It’s all over but the counting, which means that at least some of the local races in the election of 2019 will stretch out a little while longer.

That’s not unusual; counting of absentee ballots doesn’t even begin until November 22. But the unofficial vote tallies from the Columbia County Board of Elections issued by press deadline Wednesday, November 6, did not include the ballots from the thousands of early voters, including approximately 700 early ballots that could not be read by the ballot scanning machines and are being recorded manually.

Some races produced clear winners, because statistically there aren’t enough votes to change the outcome, even though the margin of victory is likely to differ from the initial results.

Rather than publish admittedly incomplete results The Columbia Paper will publish the unofficial results online once the early votes are included. That’s expected in the next few days according to the Board of Elections. Readers who want to see only the votes cast by machine ballot November 5 can find them at the Board of Elections website.

Among the contested races that appear to be settled other than the final count is the contest for county district attorney, a rematch between Democrat Eugene Keeler, a former DA, and incumbent DA Paul Czajka. Mr. Czajka has roughly 60% of the vote at this point in the unfinished count.

In Kinderhook, the most populous municipality in the county, Town Board member and Deputy Supervisor Patsy Leader (I), also running on the Republican and Conservative lines, has a wide margin of the counted votes for a two-year term.

The supervisor race in Copake between Kelly Miller-Simmons (R,C,I) and Jeanne Mettler (D,WF) is too close to close call, though Ms. Miller-Simmons has more votes at this point.

Democrats show big margins over their GOP rivals in Canaan (Brenda Adams (D) vs. Susanne Pemrick (C) and in New Lebanon (Tistrya Houghtling (D) vs. Bud Godfroy(R,C)) based on the incomplete tally.

In Chatham, Donal Collins, endorsed by the Republicans, looks to have beaten incumbent Maria Lull (D).

The one thing that does look likely from these supervisor races is that the GOP is will maintain control over the county Board of Supervisors, but even that is only a guess supported by votes that have yet to be counted.

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