NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The voters have spoken, but their verdicts remain unknown in a significant number of races in New York.
From seats in Congress to the make-up of the State Senate, it’s coming down to the painstaking work of counting absentee ballots, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.READ MORE: Gov. Cuomo Says He Will Not Resign Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations: 'I Never Touched Anyone Inappropriately'
In the the drab recesses of the Westchester Board of Elections, the vital work of democracy is done one absentee ballot at a time.
“Every legal ballot will count, that gets in here in a timely fashion, will count,” said Westchester Election Commissioner Reginald Lafayette.
Absentees are literally stamped with the word, “timely,” as they are sorted and verified.
Aiello saw one absentee ballot was set aside. A double-check found the person who mailed it in also voted in-person. Their absentee vote won’t count.
More Election 2020 Coverage:
The size of the job in 2020 is absolutely unprecedented. 103,000 absentee ballots in Westchester this year, versus 30,000 four years ago.
Absentees will decide many contests, including heated state senate races in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester.
Early and Election Day votes gave Rob Astorino an 8,000 vote lead over Sen. Peter Harckham. That could easily change as absentees and affidavits are counted.READ MORE: Road To Reopening: New York City Arts And Entertainment Venues Allowed To Reopen At 33% Capacity Beginning April 2
“Literally, we may not know until Thanksgiving which, you know, all day all I hear is Carly Simon’s ‘Anticipation,’ and then when that finally gets out of my head, I hear Tom Petty’s ‘The Waiting Game.’ So, it’s like, you know, we all go crazy right now,” Astorino said.
New York’s most powerful woman know that all too well. In 2004, absentees wiped out Andrew Stewart-Cousins’ lead. She lost her first state senate race by 18 votes.
Stewart-Cousins told Aiello that accepting the loss with dignity helped her win two years later.
“When people see that you’re not in a frenzy, that you’re not screaming at your opponent, you’re not tearing down the Board of Elections, it makes a difference because, at some point, it talks about your character,” she said.
Absentee ballots will also settle the 3rd Congressional District race. Republican George Santos has a razor thin lead over Congressman Tom Suozzi with more than 70,000 absentee ballots to be counted.
Democrats and republicans jointly supervise the process, working together so the will of the voters is honored.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK:MORE NEWS: Caught On Camera: Asian Man Brutally Beaten At Lower East Side Subway Station
- Already Struggling Queens Business Owners Say Summonses, Fines Over COVID Guidelines Are ‘Unfair’
- Cuomo Says Managing Infection Rate Will Be Critical As New York’s Coronavirus Numbers Climb
- Cheering, Celebrations Erupt In Streets Of New York After Joe Biden Projected To Win Presidency
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.