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Absentee ballots in Southold Town elections won’t be counted until the week after Thanksgiving

Council candidate Mary Eisenstein and highway superintendent candidate Eugene Wesnofske on Election Night. Photo: Emil Breitenbach Jr.

The paper ballots cast in Southold Town’s Nov. 7 elections won’t be counted until after Thanksgiving, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

There are 614 paper ballots from Southold voters waiting to be counted at the board of elections’ Yaphank headquarters. The paper ballots consiste of 572 absentee ballots and 42 affidavit ballots, which were cast at the polls but not scanned by voting machines.

When the scanned ballots were tallied after the polls closed on Election Day, two races remained close enough to be determined by the uncounted paper ballots. Democratic town council candidate Mary Eisenstein trailed Republican Bob Ghosio by just 123 votes. Republican incumbent highway superintendent Vincent Orlando leads Democratic challenger Eugene Wesnofske by 287 votes.

Wesnofske would have to win 451, or 73 percent, of the uncounted paper ballots in order to score an upset victory over Orlando, according to calculations provided by the board of elections.

Eisenstein would need to win 369 more votes to claim victory in the four-way race for two town board seats.

There are a number of races county-wide with “a mathematical chance of uncounted paper changing the outcome,” according to the board of elections.

The race for county sheriff has Republican Lawrence Zacherese trailing Democrat Errol Toulon by 1,354 votes. There are 16,690 paper ballots not yet counted and Zacherese would need to win 54 percent of them to win.

In Riverhead Town, Republican council candidate Frank Beyrodt, who finished third in a four-way race for two seats, behind Democrat Catherine Kent by just 95 votes, needs to pick up 359 votes to win. There are 622 uncounted absentee and affidavit ballots in Riverhead.


Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.