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BOE: Southampton Ballot Count Pushed Until Friday, at Least

Scalera holds 85-vote lead over Bender heading into absentee ballot count, with Bender 84 votes ahead of Hughes.

Absentee ballots that could determine the outcome of a still-undecided town board race won't be counted until at least Friday, according to Anita Katz, Democratic Commissioner with the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Nearly 1,200 Southampton Town absentees were sent out in total, with 829 arriving as of Tuesday, according to election officials. Katz said no more ballots had come in between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The ballots will determine a three-way town board race for one open seat, as incumbent Democrat of second-place .

Scalera, a Republican, currently holds an unofficial 85-vote lead over Independence candidate for the second Town Council seat — and Bender holds an 84-vote lead over Republican .

Candidate Votes Bridget Fleming 5,828 Christine Preston Scalera 5,342 Brad Bender 5,257 Bill Hughes 5,173

Both Bender and Scalera were endorsed by the Independence Party.

The BOE will accept absentee ballots until Nov. 15, as long as they are postdated prior to Election Day. Military ballots will be accepted until Nov. 21.

An official at the BOE said a handful of hotly contested legislative races were being counted in the former part of the week, with town races filling up the latter and likely into next week.

The breakdown for the absentee ballots, as of Tuesday morning, goes as follows:

Party Sent Received Democrat 396 293 Republican 485 339 Conservative 28 21 Independence 32 24 Working Family 1 1 N/A 220 151

Bender said last Thursday night that, "no matter the outcome, I still win. Look what I've accomplished. Coming from a community association in a highly Republican town. A local working guy against an opponent they had to bring from outside the district ... To go against the Republican machine in this town that's so ingrained, I think we did damn good."

Requests for comment from Scalera and Hughes were not returned.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of the story, Bender was quoted as saying "imbred" (sic). In fact, Bender used the word "ingrained."

gusbeme November 12, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Brad, I agree with oonald. That comment is politics as usual. The problem with it is that if you do get into office just by doing your job you will lose some supporters so it is important that you win over a portion of the people that did not support you. When you start out telling half the people in the Town that they are inbred you are going to have a problem. There must be at least a few Republicans that just honestly believe in Republican ideals and are not married to their cousins, aren’t there Brad?
Mary Beth November 17, 2011 at 01:01 AM
His comment was perfectly appropriate. Why do they keep pushing the count?
highhatsize November 17, 2011 at 02:37 AM
The B of E can't count 829 ballots on a Wednesday evening but needs the entire following day (& perhaps longer)? It's too bad that we can't vote for people who want to staff the B of E.
Brendan J. O'Reilly November 17, 2011 at 10:17 PM
@oonald and gusbeme -- The story misquoted Bender as using that word. What he actually said was "ingrained" and the story has now been updated to reflect that.
Brendan J. O'Reilly November 18, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Update: They don't expect to finish counting Southampton today. The BOE now projects they will wrap it up Monday: http://southampton.patch.com/articles/scalera-bender-hold-out-for-absentee-vote-count

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