Madison County: Gabor leads DA contest

The Madison County District Attorney's race may be too close to call. With 2,342 absentee ballots out and about 500 affidavits requiring review and counting, that's about 2,800 votes that could change the unofficial results from last night.

According to Democratic Elections Commissioner Laura Costello shortly before midnight, challenger William Gabor (R,I -- Cazenovia) led District Attorney Jeffrey Aumell (D,C -- Canastota) 12,417 votes to 11,285.

"We sent out 2,342 absentee ballots," Costello said. "We've had 2,005 of them returned. Then we had a ton of affidavits come in today."

That's a nearly 3,000-vote difference possible in a race separated by 1,132.

Affidavits, more commonly known as provisional ballots, are used when voters move from one address to another within the county too close to an election to re-register. According to Costello, affidavits also are allowed in cases where voters believe themselves to be eligible to vote but poll workers don't have evidence of that.

Costello said rather than have poll workers and voters arguing at the polling place, the protesting voter is allowed to vote by affidavit, and staff at the Board of Elections sort it out later. The move allows the voting process to continue moving smoothly at polling places.

Absentee ballots had to be postmarked by 5 p.m. Monday Nov. 3 or hand-delivered to any polling place before the polls closed to be eligible for those votes to be counted. In addition, those ballots postmarked by 5 p.m. Nov. 3 must be received by the Board of Elections by close of business Monday Nov. 10.

Since Tuesday Nov. 11 marks the Veterans' Day holiday, absentees and affidavits won't be counted until Wednesday Nov. 12. Absentee ballots and affidavits not meeting eligibility criteria won't be counted.

Gabor spent time at Delphia's in Chittenango earlier in the evening on Election Day; afterward he returned to Cazenovia where he said a phone bank had been set up and volunteers had spent the lion's share of the day making last-minute calls to supporters reminding them to get out and vote.

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