A decision should be reached Wednesday afternoon on the most contentious issue of the Shelter Island election season.
The Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE) will be counting affidavit and absentee ballots on a proposition asking voters to vote up or down on employing a 0.5% real estate transfer tax to help fund affordable housing. Election day tallies had the proposition defeated by eight votes out of 1,770 cast.
According to Heather Reylek, leader of the Island Democrats, and Gary Blados, leader of the Island GOP, the count by BOE officials was scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Wednesday, to record 37 affidavit ballots and 44 absentee ballots. The results will be be posted on our website — shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com as soon as the information is available.
An example of an affidavit ballot is one where a voter has come to the polls on Election Day but election officials don’t have his/her information. The voter then signs an affidavit signifying eligibility to vote.
There is one ballot outstanding, according to Mr. Blados, and the BOE is awaiting a response to a “cure letter.” This is a letter asking a voter who has been informed of a ballot inconsistency that it has an invalid signature. “That voter has until November 24 to respond so the ballot can be cured,” Mr. Blados said.
But it still might not be over. Mr. Blados said he had spoken to a BOE official who told him that “it’s almost a certainty that the vote will fall within the percentage to trigger a mandatory hand recount. It hinges on how the vote breaks down Wednesday, but it is almost a certainty.” And, at Tuesday’s Town Board work session, Town Attorney Stephen Kiley said there will be a mandatory recount.
In last week’s Reporter story on the election, unofficial results of how Islander’s voted were inaccurate. We were correct on the affordable housing proposition, and below are the updated, unofficial tallies from the BOE on the local Island vote. An asterisk denotes the winner in the general election.
Bridget Fleming (D) — 1,167
*Nick LaLota (R) — 605
Lee Zeldin (R) — 644
*Kathy Hochul (D) — 1,134
For State Assembly
*Fred Thiele, Jr. (D) — 1,223
Peter Ganley (R) — 534
For State Senate
*Anthony Palumbo (R) — 690
Sklyler Johnson (D) — 1,004