Absentee ballot counting in the closely-watched 106th Assembly race between Democrat Didi Barrett and Republican Michael Kelsey is inching along. So far, Barrett has been steadily increasing her narrow 137-vote lead from Election Night.
Going into the absentee count, Barrett trailed “on the machines” by a small amount in Columbia County, but made up those votes and then some in more populous Dutchess County.
However (as expected by most seasoned election observers) Barrett has made up ground in Columbia County in the 11 districts counted so far. In those districts (which include Ancram, Clermont, Copake, Claverack, and Taghkanic), Barrett has picked up another 107 votes, according to estimates provide by an observer of the counting process.
Moreover, Barrett has won 9 out of the 11 districts counted so far, with Kelsey only squeaking out 1-vote victories in two districts.
Ballots reportedly are being closely scrutinized, and in some cases challenged, by the candidates’ representatives. Roughly a third of the nearly 1,000 absentee ballots pending in Columbia have been opened. A similar number are outstanding in Dutchess, but results are not known.
Generally, one would expect that if Barrett is improving in Columbia, her weaker territory on Election Night, she would also improve in Dutchess, meaning that Kelsey’s hopes are fading.