East Hampton voters will have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest and probably longer to find out who their town supervisor will be come January.
With unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections in Yaphank showing the Republican incumbent, Bill Wilkinson, just 177 votes ahead of the challenger, Zachary Cohen, on election night, and some 800 absentee ballots still awaiting a count, the race was too close to call.
On Monday, the Board of Elections was to begin its standard audit of 3 percent of voting machines, but it would not likely begin to open absentee ballots for East Hampton Town until the end of the week, a spokeswoman said last Thursday. In all, 1,044 absentee ballots were sent out, 540 to Democrats, 284 to Republicans, 175 to unaffiliated voters, and a combined 45 to members of the Independence, Working Families, and Conservative Parties.
To be considered, those ballots had to be postmarked no later than Nov. 7 (not Nov. 1, as stated here last week), or delivered to the Board of Elections in person by the close of polls on Election Day. Mailed ballots were to have been received by Tuesday in order to be part of the count, although those from military personnel will be considered if postmarked appropriately and received by Nov. 21.
As of Saturday, according to Mr. Cohen, the board had received 799 ballots, with 418 coming in from Democrats, 220 from Republicans, 132 from unaffiliated voters, and 22, 6, and 1 from members of the Independence, Conservative, and Working Families Parties respectively.
On absentee ballots, unaffiliated voters have tended to break for Democratic candidates, but by any combination of guesses, the race remains quite close.
“There’s a high probability of a tie,” Mr. Cohen, a mathematician, said on Tuesday. “I’m not nervous one iota. Now, my only job in relation to the election is to make sure we do a really good job with the count.”