In Central New York, the wait is on for counting absentee ballots

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Onondaga County

Posted: Nov 4, 2020 / 11:42 AM EST Updated: Nov 4, 2020 / 11:42 AM EST

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR) — This has been an election unlike any other throughout the country, state, and in Central New York. There were a record number of voters, absentee ballots, and registrations. But not all of those votes are in just yet.

At the final count on Tuesday night, the Onondaga County Board of Elections commissioners says they are seeing more voters than ever before in this general election. Overall, we’ve surpassed the 2008 record of 220,000 voters in Onondaga County.  Unofficially, the democratic elections commissioner says we’ve reached more than 233,000 votes overall out of more than 300,000 registered voters.

As for those absentees ballots? They’ll be major in this election and they haven’t even been opened yet. 

By 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Onondaga County Board of Elections had received more than 53,000 absentee ballots back, and that number is expected to grow over the next few days. In some of the local races, those absentee ballots could be the deciding factor in close races.

Those in charge of counting the votes spoke about the process on Tuesday night.

“Around 9:15, 9:30 p.m., we’ll start posting the early voting results. The election results will start physically being driven into our offices to be posted on our website, around 10 p.m. The absentee results, so the 53,000 people who voted by absentee, we can’t even start counting that until November 9,” said Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny.

“We have to have certification done to the state by November 28. So we’re going to do our best to try to count 10,000 ballots a day, starting November 9,” said Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioner Michele Sardo.

In Onondaga County, the absentee ballots won’t begin to be counted until Monday. In Cayuga County, they will start counting ballots on Saturday, while other counties in our viewing area will begin sometime next week.


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