As predicted here on Election Night, absentee ballots in Taghkanic are swing the results to a different candidate than the one declared a winner that evening by The Register-Star. The 65 ballots opened so far heavily favor of independent candidate Linda Swartz over Republican Carolyn Sammons, in a special election for the Town Board seat vacated by Deborah Gilbert.
Unofficial tallies shared by an observer of the contentious process indicate that 47 went to Swartz, and 17 to Sammons, a 30-vote pickup for the former. Sammons previously had a 9-vote lead “on the machine,” meaning that Swartz is now 21 votes ahead.
Reportedly, some 27 ballots were challenged by partisans of the candidates, and thus have not been opened yet. In theory, Sammons could still win. But to retake the lead, Sammons would have to win almost all of those challenged ballots by a 25-2—a highly unlikely outcome. And since many of those challenges reportedly were lodged by Sammons’ representatives, believing them to be Swartz voters, the likelihood of another reversal seems even slimmer.
More probable is that the Sammons camp will not want to rack up legal fees unnecessarily on a low-percentage court case, and will withdraw their challenges, allowing the remainder to be opened, and adding to Swartz’s margin of victory.