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Hempstead supervisor absentee ballots to be counted next week, officials say

Donald Clavin, Republican candidate for Town of Hempstead

Donald Clavin, Republican candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor, left, and Laura Gillen, Democratic incumbent candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor. Credit: James Escher

Nassau County Board of Elections officials will begin counting next week nearly 6,000 absentee ballots and affidavits cast in the contested Hempstead Town supervisor race, according to Republican and Democratic party officials.

Election Day returns showed Republican Donald X. Clavin Jr., who has served as the town’s receiver of taxes for the past 18 years, leading Supervisor Laura Gillen by 1,392 votes with all precincts reporting. Libertarian candidate Diane Madden received 1,270 votes.

Clavin declared victory over Gillen, a Democrat, on election night, but Gillen and Nassau County Democrats did not concede, pending the count of absentee ballots.

Democratic Party officials said they may request a full recount, depending on the outcome of the paper ballot count.

“We believe we will get close and there are some anomalies on Election Day that still need to be determined,” Nassau Democrats election attorney Keith Corbett said without elaborating. “We reserve the right to pursue a full recount. Democracy ensures we review the legitimacy of all ballots cast and at the end, a winner will be determined.”

Absentees and affidavits are expected to be hand-counted starting Monday at the Board of Elections and should be completed within a couple of days, party officials said.

Election officials could not provide further details.

State law also requires a sampling of election machines be retabulated, regardless of the margin of victory.

“The Nassau Republican Committee and the Don Clavin campaign fully anticipates the election night results will be reaffirmed,” Nassau GOP spokesman Mike Deery said.

Attorneys for the Nassau County Democratic and Republican parties appeared Thursday in Nassau County Supreme Court to set the parameters for next week's counting of the absentee ballots and affidavits.

An impound on the ballots and election machines remains in place, pending a court order, Corbett said. The order was agreed to by Democratic and Republican party chairmen Jay Jacobs and Joe Cairo.

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