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Southold Town absentee ballots to be counted Monday

Candidates waiting to know if they were elected to Southold Town office will have to wait another week. 

The Suffolk County Board of Elections has informed the town committees that absentee ballots will not be counted until Monday, Nov. 15.

The fate of several seats continues to hang in the balance as the election results for two trustee seats and the second opening on the Town Board were technically too close to call on Election Day.

Board of Elections officials said the agency had received 645 absentee ballots from Southold Town, with registered Democrats accounting for 266 and Republican and Conservative voters submitting 256. Of the remaining ballots, 20 are from minor party lines and the remaining 103 are blanks, individuals who did not choose a political party when registering to vote. Democrats say that breakdown likely means they would pick up votes when the absentees are counted, but are unlikely to see as big a swing as they did in 2019, when two seats flipped to their candidates after Election Day.

This year there were seven contested races, with only Greg Doroski (D) for Town Board, Eric Sepenoski (D) for Trustee and Denis Noncarrow (R) for town clerk being declared winners by the committees at their post-polling gatherings last Tuesday. Dan Goodwin, a Democrat running for town highway superintendent, is believed to have won his race after results reported by the final polling place gave him a 243-vote lead early Wednesday morning. 

Brian Mealy, a Democrat with a 120-vote lead over Republican Greg Williams is also likely to have won, though this week he said on social media that he is still “waiting patiently” for the absentee ballots to be counted.

The closest race of all is for the final two open Town Trustee seats, where Democrat Liz Gillooly and Republican Kristina Gabrielsen appear to have won. But Democrat Elizabeth Peeples is 84 votes behind Ms. Gabrielsen and is likely to close the gap to an unknown degree based on the party enrollment breakdown of absentee voters. It would take overwhelming support from blank voters, however, for Ms. Peeples to win.

No matter how the final results shake out, it appears Democrats have won five races in a Southold Town election for the first time since 1987.