2 Binghamton City Council races will go to manual recount
On Tuesday, the Broome County Board of Elections finished counting absentee and affidavit ballots from last week’s elections.
The results are still unofficial. But two Binghamton City Council races are now so close they will need manual recounts.
The race for the 6th District council seat is now tied. Incumbent Republican Council Member Phillip Strawn and Democratic challenger Rebecca Rathmell have 549 votes each.
As of election night last week, in the 7th District, incumbent Republican Council Member Thomas Scanlon was in the lead by six votes. After Tuesday’s absentee and affidavit ballot count, Democratic challenger Michael Dundon now leads Scanlon by six votes.
Broome County Democratic elections Commissioner Dan Reynolds said both races will now require a hand recount, which will likely happen next week. He said it is possible the race for the 6th District could end up not being an exact tie.
“It might not end up being a tie, because the machine doesn't always pick up markings,” Reynolds said. “In other words, if they didn't fill in their bubbles, but they put consistent checkmarks for a candidate and the voter intent is crystal clear, those are going to be counted. So it might not end up being a tie.”
If it is still a tie after a hand count, Reynolds said the Broome County Board of Elections will have to determine what to do next under New York law. He said the state Board of Elections has indicated the race could go to the current Binghamton City Council to decide.
Another very close race for Binghamton city judge, will not require a recount after Tuesday’s canvassing and scanning of ballots. Democrat Debra Gelson defeated Republican Sophie Bergman by 83 votes.
Under New York state law, manual recounts are only triggered when the margin of victory is under 20 votes or 0.5% percent of the vote.