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Absentee ballots to be counted Nov. 22; election results remain in limbo

The counting of the absentee ballots in the remarkably close races for Southold Town supervisor, Town Board and town justice will begin Friday, Nov. 22, the Suffolk County Board of Elections said.

On election night, Nov. 5, unofficial results compiled by the BOE showed incumbent Republican Supervisor Scott Russell with 3,988 votes and his Democratic opponent, Greg Doroski, with 3,768. For the two open seats on the Town Board, incumbent Republican Jill Doherty led the voting with 3,896. Fellow incumbent Republican William Ruland had 3,778 votes, followed tightly by Democratic challenger Sarah Nappa with 3,731. Democratic challenger Robert Hanlon had 3,618 votes.

The race likely comes down to either Mr. Ruland or Ms. Nappa joining Ms. Doherty as the winner.

If Ms. Nappa prevails, she would be the first Democrat elected to the Town Board since Al Krupski in 2009.

The town justice race was also too close to call, with incumbent Republican Brian Hughes receiving 3,870 votes to Democratic challenger Daniel Ross’ 3,775.

Beginning Nov. 22, all absentee ballots will be counted. That process takes days and can result in court challenges.

As of election night, the party affiliation of the 473 absentee voters in Southold makes things even closer in each of these races, with 248 registered Democrats returning ballots to 128 Republican voters. There were also 18 Independence and five Conservative absentee voters, minor parties that endorsed the Republican candidates. Additional absentee ballots are counted that come in after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked by the correct date and received no later than the seventh day after the election.