These numbers have to be verified... But the final tally in Hudson appears to have been something like 875 to 825 (Hallenbeck over Haddad), or roughly 51.5% to 49.5%.
Flip 25 voters' allegiance, or find 50 more votes, and it's exactly even. That in theory means there is no clear message or mandate emerging from this local election. But one “side” has to win. And it’s winner take all.
In the bigger picture, only 1,700 votes were cast in a small city of over 3,600 voters. Less than half of the voters participated, and that’s more damning of the entire system than either "side" winning or losing.
(There’ll be more to come here about that strikingly low turnout number soon enough, once complete BOE turnout data becomes available.)
Bill Hallenbeck (who, I learned tonight, is a big fan of Elvis Costello) won the absentee and affidavit ballots in District 5-1 by a 20-to-5 margin, pushing his lead to roughly 35, meaning the Hudson election is effectively over, with only 29 ballots left to count in 5-2. ... Congratulations to Hudson’s new Mayor.
UPDATE: The 5-2 count was 11 Haddad, 15 Hallenbeck. After the Haddad campaign released its challenges to some 20 ballots, the final margin of victory was 50.
With only 54 ballots left to count and almost 20 votes separating the Hudson candidates, both sides have agreed to allow all the remaining ballots to be opened without challenge. So a final count should be had by 6 pm if not sooner.
30 ballots were just counted in Hudson's 3rd Ward, and split 20-10 for Haddad. Six other ballots were challenged, and will go to a judge if the election remains tight. The margin between the two thus now sits somewhere between 13 and 26.
The numbers posted below don't include the unofficial recanvassing numbers from yesterday. Taken into account, that means that Hallenbeck is ahead by somewhere between 23 and 26, with four election districts left to count.
Bill Hallenbeck's lead over Nick Haddad shrunk slightly today—to somewhere between 22 and 25 votes. This came as a result of a hand-recount of all the ballots cast on Election Day by Republican and Democratic inspectors.
A slight change in the 3rd Ward count moved one vote from the Bill to the Nick column, a two-vote swing, cutting into the former’s lead.
In addition, three ballots were held aside after being challenged by the Haddad legal team, due to those ballots having extraneous writing or identifying marks on them. Under the election law, such marks generally void the whole ballot. These automatically (per a pre-count court order) go to a judge to decide on their validity. This means Hallenbeck at this point is either up 22, 23, 24, or 25 votes.
At the end of a grueling day of both parties recounting over 1,500 ballots, Hallenbeck attorney Giff Whitbeck showed up at the last minute, and attempted to demand yet another count of the 3rd Ward votes—having missed the painstaking process that took up most of the day. This move was rebuffed by Commissioner Virginia Martin.
The action continues in the morning with affidavit and absentee ballots, which did not get touched today.
After about 40 minutes of lawyers preenting arguments, Judge McGrath ruled from the bench at about 11:15 am that Article 16 does not permit him to provide the remedy sought by the Haddad campaign. Some 32 ballots were at issue, 17 of them “carried” to permanently disabled voters by Linda Mussmann and Lyle Shook, despite provisions of the New York State Election Law indicating that such ballots cannot be handled by third parties—and must be mailed directly to voters confined to their homes (or nursing homes).