UPDATE: Unofficial Report Says Bender Victory Holds After Absentee Votes Are Tallied

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UPDATE: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Unofficially, it appears that Brad Bender has held the second open spot on the Southampton Town Board and will join Stan Glinka as the two new members of the board in January.

Gordon Herr, chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Party, said Wednesday evening that the vote of 879 absentee ballots concluded Wednesday at the Suffolk County Board of Elections office, and Mr. Bender’s final margin of victory over Jeff Mansfield was 139 votes. Mr. Herr stressed that the results have not yet been certified, but all absentee and affidavit votes were counted.

Unofficial vote totals were not yet released by the BOE.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Absentee ballots from last week’s election in Southampton Town were still being counted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon.

Counting of the 879 ballots began on Tuesday afternoon and, as of the end of the day, the count had gone through 17 of the 42 election districts in Southampton Town.

Two races, Town Council and Town Trustees, were tight enough that absentee ballots could potentially affect the outcome.

In the race for two Town Council seats, Republican candidate Stan Glinka was likely assured of capturing one of the seats, and Independence Party candidate Brad Bender held a 143-vote lead for the second seat over Republican candidate Jeff Mansfield in the votes cast on Election Day. In the counts completed on Tuesday, Mr. Bender expanded his lead over Mr. Mansfield by 33 votes.

Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Herr said he expects the positioning from Election Day will hold through counting of the absentee ballots, with the possible exception of Democratic candidate Frank Zappone passing Mr. Mansfield for the third-highest total.

Mr. Herr said it was possible that the counting could continue into Thursday, though he expected the outcome to be fairly certain before then.

“They’re not just looking at the council, they have to look at the judges and the Trustees and the county races—it has to be done thoroughly, and it takes time,” Mr. Herr said. “We’ll be watching, and we’ll make a decision at the end of the day about whether we need to be here on Thursday or whether the result is clear by then.”

The unofficial vote totals from election night were: Mr. Glinka, 5,857; Mr. Bender, 5,746; Mr. Mansfield, 5,603; and Mr. Zappone, 5,445.

Mr. Bender, who was part of the Democratic slate, would give Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who easily won reelection, her first Town Board majority, with Democratic Town Board member Bridget Fleming.

The same is true with the Town Trustees race, where incumbents Bill Pell, an Independence Party member, Democrat Eric Shultz and Republican Ed Warner Jr. have won reelection, and challengers Scott Horowitz and Ray Overton, both Republicans, secured the two remaining seats. But Mr. Overton’s total of 5,436 puts him within reach of the next highest vote-getter, Democrat Howard Pickerell, who has 5,163.

On Tuesday afternoon, a representative from the County Board of Elections refused to confirm that the Southampton Town races were being addressed, saying the information would not be available until after the races were finalized. Likewise, the representative would not say whether any re-canvassing of machines was planned.

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