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Court order delays Ocean Beach election results

Officials say all absentee ballots had to be sealed and delivered to the Suffolk County Board of Elections after a trustee candidate filed a petition against opponents.

Three candidates ran for two open trustee seats

Three candidates ran for two open trustee seats in the Ocean Beach village election Friday. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The results of Friday’s Ocean Beach election were delayed after a candidate raised concerns about the validity of ballots, documents show.

Absentee ballots will be opened and counted on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. after the court order was withdrawn by the request of trustee candidate Dawn L. Hargraves, village officials said.

Hargraves obtained a court order after filing a petition against opponents Brian Power and Tara Fishman, the village clerk and the Suffolk County Board of Elections. There are two open trustee seats.

Suffolk Supreme Court Judge Cheryl A. Joseph ordered on election day that officials in the Fire Island village preserve all ballots, voting machines and tally sheets until after a hearing set for Thursday.

Hargraves, an attorney with a Bayport law office, later filed a request to the judge to withdraw the court order on Monday afternoon, according to a court document. Hargraves did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

“The Village of Ocean Beach conducts fair and impartial elections,” said Peter Bee, an attorney representing the village.

Mayor James Mallott ran unopposed for another four-year term.

Village Clerk Steven Brautigam, also the village treasurer, said he had to seal all absentee ballots and deliver them to the Suffolk board of elections on Monday because of the court order.

County board of elections officials said they had no information about the village election and would only handle a recount of votes.

Fishman and Power, an incumbent, did not return requests for comment Monday afternoon.

The ballots will be opened at the Village community house.

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