Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 18 November 2011 00:00
Three Nassau County Legislative Districts are up for recount this week, including the 18th LD, which encompasses the close City of Glen Cove election, where incumbent Democrat Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and Republican challenger Paul Meli came within just 117 votes of one another - before absentee ballots were counted - and the race for council seats was even closer.
County Legislature candidates Republican Robert Germino and Democrat Delia DeRiggi-Whitton were within 37 votes of each other after election night, creating one of two close LD races that could tip the balance of power in the currently Republican controlled Legislature if Democrats end up winning both the 18th and 14th districts.
On Wednesday of this week, Board of Election commissioners told the Record Pilot that they hoped to begin counting hundreds of absentee ballots, emergency ballots and affidavits, with each district taking a few days, they hoped. It looked like the 3rd LD would also be part of the process, where longtime Republican Legislator John Ciotti was ousted in a surprise upset.
The process of a recount ended up in court, first as a matter of course - as both party committees routinely sue the Board of Elections to impound all voting machines – and second, as the conditions of a recount were in question, with Republicans arguing against the legality of Democrat requests to copy ledgers.
As of this printing, no decision was available from the court as to how the recount would proceed.
Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Louis G. Savinetti told the Record Pilot that his party went into court “asking for an order directing both sides.”
“We do now have a finished universe of absentee ballots now that need to be counted, and we have a universe of affidavits. We are also researching and checking for things like unscanned emergency ballots in the machines. We have a hope to start actually counting at the end of the week,” Democratic Commissioner William T. Biamonte added.