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Count of absentee ballots in 8th District Suffolk Legislature race begins Nov. 19

A recount begins Nov. 19 in the Suffolk

A recount begins Nov. 19 in the Suffolk County Legislature race between Democrat William J. Lindsay III, left, and Republican Anthony Piccirillo. Credit: James Escher

A count of absentee and affidavit ballots in the Suffolk County Legislature race between Democrat William Lindsay III and Republican Anthony Piccirillo, who are separated by 223 votes, will begin Nov. 19, county election officials said.

Unofficial returns from Election Day showed Piccirillo, a Suffolk legislative aide from Bohemia, with 9,130 votes and Lindsay, the incumbent, with 8,907 in the 8th District race. Piccirillo lost to Lindsay by 244 votes two years ago. 

The county Board of Elections will begin tallying at least 600 absentee and affidavit ballots on Nov. 19, Republican elections Commissioner Nick LaLota and Democratic Commissioner Anita Katz said.

Results of the count could affect the balance of power in the Suffolk County Legislature, where Democrats have an 11-7 majority over Republicans. Except for Lindsay, all legislators were reelected Tuesday, unofficial returns show. 

County Republicans declared victory in the 8th District race Tuesday night, introducing Piccirillo as the new legislator-elect at an election watch party in Patchogue.

“We are very confident in our position,” county Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said Thursday.

“Either side’s got a shot, but obviously it’s better to be 223 up than down,” county Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer said Thursday.

LaLota and Katz each had different absentee ballot counts Thursday. 

LaLota said the elections board had received 681 absentees — 317 from Republicans and 221 from Democrats. Katz said the board had 633 absentees — 295 from Republicans and 206 from Democrats.

Lindsay (D-Bohemia) said projections he has seen show “that we’re going to come out ahead.”

Nonetheless, “I was surprised it was as close at it is," Lindsay said. "But it’s an indication of how much state and national politics have interjected into local politics."

Piccirillo said he believes he will be "victorious." He attributed his lead to knocking on more than 21,000 doors over two election cycles, and campaigning on concerns about overdevelopment and red-light cameras.

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