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Worth the wait for Meg Larsen: Republican takes last Town Board seat in a squeaker

It was learned this afternoon that, more than a  month after Election Day, the Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE) certified a candidate for a four-year seat on the Town Board between Republican Meg Larsen and Democrat Brett Surerus.

After recording Election Day votes, early balloting and write-ins, the result was Ms. Larsen defeating Mr. Surerus by just six votes for the four-year term. After a hand count, Mr. Surerus had picked up two votes, ensuring Ms. Larsen has been elected to the Council.

The reason for the delay is a new State law that required a recount of the election. The law, which went into effect in January, triggers a recount “where the margin of victory is 20 votes or less; or where the margin of victory is 0.5% or less …”

The BOE was then  required by the legislation to “conduct a full manual recount of all ballots.”

The election in the 6th Legislative District, which is in the northeast part of Brookhaven Town with about 50,000 registered voters, was in court, and according to BOE officials, the judge in the case has ordered that a hand count of that district has priority over other close elections in the County. Certain elections in Southampton and Southold Still also had to wait for a hand count, along with Shelter Island.

Shelter Island Democratic Chairwoman Heater Reylek said when she heard  the new sof Ms. Larsen’s victory, “Congratulations to all the candidates for a job well done. The Council race was a squeaker. Truly, every vote counts.”

When the full Town Board convenes in January, it will be an historic  occasion — the first time three women, the majority on the five-member Board, will be on the Board at the same time.