Glen Cove to begin mayoral race absentee ballot count

(L-R) Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi faces off

(L-R) Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi faces off against his opponent Reginald Spinello in a debate at Glen Cove High School. (Oct. 25, 2013) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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The Nassau County Board of Elections is expected to begin counting absentee ballots Wednesday in the close race for Glen Cove mayor.

The board is scheduled to begin counting at 11 a.m. the more than 335 absentee ballots cast for incumbent Democrat Ralph Suozzi or the Republican candidate, City Council member Reginald Spinello.

Spinello, an Independence Party member, leads Suozzi by 115 votes in the tally from polling places on Nov. 5.

Democratic elections Commissioner William Biamonte said the count should be completed Wednesday, unless there is an objection from either side that would lead to litigation. Then, the board would halt the count for three days to allow the parties to go to court.

As of the deadline Tuesday, more than 335 absentee ballots had been returned to the board. Lawyers from both sides are expected to challenge some of those ballots. They will know who the voter is and can try to disqualify the vote before, but not after, the ballot is opened.

There are also two military ballots to count, but others might arrive before the Nov. 18 deadline.

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The board is also expected to review 51 affidavit ballots cast at a polling place when the voter's name did not appear on the voter roll. And there are also 31 emergency ballots cast because of equipment failures but not counted election night.

With more than 600 votes still to be counted, Suozzi could make up the 115-vote deficit, but his name would have to be on about two-thirds of the ballots.

The absentee ballots could also affect the makeup of the City Council. The election totals would have split the council 3-3, with Spinello having the tiebreaking vote.

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