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Update 5 a.m., Nov. 11. Nearly a week past elections and still no verdict for the Wagner/Ball race for redrawn district 40 and still no final count on Westchester's unreported votes. What's going on?
Voting machines in 10 Westchester municipalities have been impounded, delaying an official outcome in the Wagner vs. Ball state senate race, a county elections official said Friday. More on this here.
Update 10:06 a.m. Nita Lowey, incumbent of newly drawn Congressional District 17 serving all of Rockland and parts of Westchester, won 62 percent of Rockland's votes, enough to declare a big lead before Westchester's votes are finalized.
Here in Tarrytown, Republican Alison Boldyrev, who twice has been defeated in her run for local office, had this to say about the national race and how she encourages people to participate more locally:
Well the verdict is in and the people have spoken. I think this is a time for the Republicans to come together lick our wounds and refocus our message.
My message has always been that smaller more localized government can be most effective and accountable with the right governance. To be dependent on the Feds and State is a slippery slope with to many mandates attached. What government has always done best is to take. To expect charity from a bureaucracy is foolish. As citizens we should guard our liberties and support our neighbors through hard work and volunteerism.
I was impressed by the turn out to vote and only wish residents would be as active in our Village elections. I waited on a short line at Consolidated but all went smoothly and as it should. I don't know of too many active Republicans in Tarrytown and the handful I do know are not willing to serve. A party is only as effective as the people involved. If any one is interested in serving their Village and putting the people of Tarrytown First they should feel free to contact me (email@example.com).
Update 8:55 a.m. Those on the pro side of the Game On 365 Sports Bubble have been quick to express their elation.
A statement from Martin Hewitt from Game On 365:
Game On 365 is thrilled that Town Proposition One was approved by such an overwhelming margin, demonstrating that the community is behind our effort to bring the Westchester Field House to Greenburgh. The Westchester Field House will bring much needed revenue to the Town, as well as year round sports and recreational activities for all ages. We have had tremendous support from the beginning and the results last night show that Greenburgh residents are excited to support progress and smart business in their community. Game On 365 is thankful to the residents, Town Council, and Supervisor for their continued support. We look forward to bringing The Westchester Field House to Greenburgh.
And Greenburgh's Supervisor Paul Feiner blogged about it this morning, thanking voters for their Yes.
Update 8:22 a.m. This comes in from the Wagner camp, who will not concede defeat:
Justin Wagner for State Senate campaign manager Steve Napier issued the following statement in response to Senator Greg Ball's bizarre and inaccurate claim to victory in the 40th District State Senate race, when thousands of votes from heavily Democratic precincts remain uncounted.
"The race is too close to call," said Napier. "While all of the traditionally high-performing Republican areas have been fully counted, results in much of the traditionally Democratic areas of Westchester County have yet to be reported. We will pursue a full and fair count of all ballots, and we are confident that in the end Justin Wagner will be seated in the New York State Senate."
Update 2:52 a.m. Zuckerman holds big lead in County Judge race. Read more here.
And for the State Supreme Court: Democrats Gerald Loehr, Maria Rosa and Sandra Sciortino were leading in Westchester County in the race for state Supreme Justice in the 9th Judicial District. The winners hold 14-year terms. More here.
Update 12:30 a.m., Nov. 7: No surprise here, but Andrea Stewart-Cousins was victorious in her uncontested race for State Senate District 35. Still she stayed out late and gave a victory speech (see video here). She said, "I am really excited. I believe this is what the majority of people wants, to see us go forward as a nation and go forward as a state. The wins can help us continue to progress our work with the government of course and bring progress and important policies fowrad in the nation."
Update 11:43 p.m. Greenburgh's Proposition 1 for Game On 365 sports bubble, with 82 percent of the votes in, gets 66 percent of the votes for Yes.
Update 11:28 p.m. Several major networks are calling Obama a second-term President.
Meanwhile, our Ball-Wagner race. Ball's campaign just now releases this:
Senator Greg Ball (Patterson – R, C, I) has announced that with 100% reporting he has won Dutchess County by 1,918 votes, with 100% reporting he has won Putnam County by 5,037 votes and with 78% reporting he is down in Westchester County by 3,183 votes giving ball a commanding 3,772 vote lead.
“It is one thing to make promises every two years, it is another thing entirely to deliver results. Working with Governor Cuomo, in a bipartisan way, I have delivered. In just two years we have repealed the MTA payroll tax, capped property taxes and cut income taxes across the board,” said Senator Greg Ball. “In the next two years I will continue my independent voting record and lead the fight to create good paying local jobs, deliver real and lasting tax relief, freeze school taxes for seniors, and reign in our unaccountable utilities. I’m glad the campaign is over, and ready to get back to work.”
Update 11:12 p.m. An overview of the races in Westchester and the Board of Elections thus far:
Greenburgh's Proposition 1, with 64 percent of the votes in, gets 5,237 votes or 67 percent for yes; 2,637 for no.
Greg Ball has won Putnam County with 14,741 votes (60.27 percent) versus Justin Wagner's 9,704 (39.68 percent).
In Westchester, Wagner has a 4 percent lead over Ball with 69 percent of precincts reporting.
With 64 percent of districts reporting, Nita Lowey leads Joe Carvin and Fran Morganthaler with 66 percent of the vote.
Update 10:43 p.m. The Greg Ball-Justin Wagner race remains close in the county, with Wagner holding 53 percent of the vote with half of all county precincts reporting. Ball however won for State Senate District 40 in Putnam and Dutchess.
Update 10:12 p.m. Well Patch doesn't call elections, but I'll call this one. Uncontested Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti will enter a second two-year-term. Here's video of him thanking voters who came out in abundance despite the odds against them ("wind, rain, Con Ed"). He had stopped by Beekman's Fire House tonight to thank poll workers as well and make sure all systems were going smoothly. (They were.)
Update 10 p.m. Greenburgh's Proposition 1 looking to be favored so far. See how results are coming in below.
Update 9:30 p.m.
Barack Obama has reportedly won New York's electoral votes.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is celebrating a victory over opponent Wendy Long.
Update 9 p.m. Ding dong the polls are closed. Stay tuned as local results start to come in.
Update 7:14 p.m. Though everyone seems to expect a long night, the party plans are coming in. Incumbent NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins reports she will be watching the election results live with Westchester County Democrats, including uncontested Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in White Plains tonight.
Update: 5:09 p.m. First-time poll worker Henry Haase, of Sleepy Hollow, at Beekman's Fire House (District 3), reports almost 50 percent turn-out so far. Of their 400 registered voters, about 180 had come by 5 p.m. with a rush anticipated when people come off work.
He said they hadn't experienced any glitches here, but at Philipsburg Manor, one machine broke down and they are using the handicapped machine.
Explaining why the Eagles lodge no longer houses two districts (moved to the Manor), Haase said, "I think it's just for volume; it's a small space." As it is, they have 800 registered voters on their list, he said.
As for the woman complaining that she hadn't been notified of her polling location change, he said, "yes, you were." Haase said the Eagles' districts changed probably in August.
There was one point today when the workers in this fire house polling station needed to call the Westchester Board of Elections to get more forms and "they put us on hold." So, yes, he agreed that it's particularly challenging to get through to the department overseeing the process.
Haase said one person was literally there at 6 a.m. eager to vote, but the person had to wait until 6:03 a.m. for them to be operational.
An elderly man used his Sharpie to punch holes in his paper ballot. "I saw the sun shining through his ballot, and said that's not going to work," laughed Haase.
Of course when you're working out of a fire house for hours and hours, there might be a fire. Haase said one alarm sounded today and a truck went out. "The doors flew open and they were gone. The room cooled off," Haase said. "It was refreshing."
The room is very warm, which feels luxurious after the power and heat many have been deprived of lately. At the Eagles, things got even nicer when a voter brought two pizzas and a case of soda for the poll workers. "He saw how hard they were working," Haase said.
As far as his own voting, Haase went off during lunch to Philipsburg Manor. He's a Republican, which has been hard to come by today in our local votership, but not among poll workers who are required by law to hail equally from both sides. Haase said it's hard enough to find poll workers, let alone meet the requirements here of having to find Republicans (and, in this district, a Spanish-speaker as well).
"I am the Republican," he joked.
Not only did he think it would be a long night in front of the TV when he got home to watch results come in, but Haase thought it would continue until tomorrow. "It's going to be too close," he said.
Update 3:14 p.m. Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is mad today!
More from him on the voting glitch in Pleasantville: He votes at the Methodist Church on Manville Road, Mt. Pleasant District 21. It was running, just barely, he said, on two generators. One was out of gas, and the other was on the fritz and barely powering the lights.
“It’s a mess,” Abinanti said of the scene when the lights flickered and he believes some votes were lost.
“The problem here,” Abinanti said, “is the Board of Elections is in charge.” He said Mt. Pleasant’s village clerk was there trying to help the situation but “she has no power, only knowledge. It was mistake with the law to cut out the clerks completely.”
Just as Abinanti fed his vote into the machine to be read, the machine went black. The poll worker said the machine had 255 votes and now it listed only 251. “Which four votes did they lose?” Abinanti asked. “That’s a problem with this system; I’m an advocate for the lever system.”
Update 2:55 p.m. Greenburgh voters will see one extra box on their ballots for Proposition 1, the Game On Sports Bubble. Here's one letter that came in here in its favor.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my unequivocal support for the upcoming referendum where Greenburgh residents will have the opportunity to Vote Yes for Town Proposition One on the November 6 ballot. I have been a resident and business owner in Greenburgh for many years and my patrons and I have endured the eyesore that used to be Frank’s nursery for over a decade. I am appalled that a minority of naysayers have caused so much confusion as to the benefits that a new indoor sports facility would bring to our community. First, getting rid of a dilapidated building is good for this town, and Game On 365 will provide the funds needed to for environmental remediation of the site. Second, the town will receive lease payments exceeding $5 million over 15 years at no cost to taxpayers, last but not least, The Westchester Field House will be a place for kids and adults to be active year round, even in the colder months. To me and many I’ve talked with over the past few months agree, The Westchester Field House is a no brainer and a facility that will bring jobs and revenue is a good thing for our town. I urge my fellow community members to do the right thing and vote Yes on Town Proposition One this November 6th. This is a great opportunity for Greenburgh.
The Westchester Golf Range
Are you for or against Game On? Weigh in below.
Update 2:10 p.m. Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (92nd-D) said he just voted in Pleasantville and he is seeing, even at his own polling station, that the "storm clearly had an impact." There was a surge in the generator there and they are investigating whether they might have lost some votes in the process, he said. Abinanti did note great turn-out throughout his district.
Stay tuned for more. He's coming to Sleepy Hollow to meet me soon.
Update 1:44 p.m. Wagner, Ball: Bitter Battle Soon to End
After hard campaigning on both sides, and much support for Wagner here in Sleepy Hollow, the redistricted 40 voters will decide who wins for NYS Senate.
Justin Wagner has fought hard for his chance to serve as Senator for redistricted Sleepy Hollow. And fighting hard for Justin Wagner are our public officials.
Karin Wompa, wearing the hat of Deputy Mayor, officially endorsed Wagner on the steps of Village Hall.
Mayor Ken Wray has been working the populace by Wagner's side repeatedly for months.
Wagner came to our first Oktoberfest and got stood up by a very busy Ball at a planned debate night at Kendal-on-Hudson. Ball has made many stops in Mount Pleasant in general but never Sleepy Hollow in particular.
In the final moments before election day, there was Trustee Bruce Campbell going door to door by himself on Sunday, doing some stumping on Wagner's behalf, and just trying to get the voters out.
Campbell spoke of his motivation:
The stakes are very high in this election, nationally to determine what kind of country we want; one where we put resources into helping those most in need or one where it's every man for himself (but not women), and locally to determine the kind of representation we have in Albany.
Because of redistricting, we inherited Greg Ball as our State Senator. Ball was elected as a Tea Party Republican and has voted like it. His views are from the extreme right and out of step with people in our area.
By contrast, Justin Wagner is a moderate Democrat. He believes in a common sense approach to problems, not an ideological one. Justin has been endorsed by environmental and women's groups and The New York Times. He is a tireless worker who understands the needs of our area. Justin will also be better able to work with Governor Cuomo, open the lines of communication and be an advocate for Sleepy Holllow and Mount Pleasant.
I asked the Ball campaign for any last words before citizens here enter the polls, but haven't heard back. Ball voted around 11:35 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Patterson. Wagner voted at Chemical Fire Engine House in Croton-on-Hudson around 9:30 a.m.
Campbell said he would be passing out flyers for Wagner at the Philipse Manor Train Station, then go vote, and get to work. (He works out on Long Island; these days that commute takes a while.)
Though this village is decidedly Democratic, the fear is that people won’t bother to vote at all. Hurricane Sandy certainly didn’t help matters, as some remain cold, or without gas. So far only one Patch reader reported any glitch today at the polls, when she got rerouted to Philipsburg Manor from her usual Eagles venue.
Though many have gone without some basic amenities this week, we've always had water throughout the storm, which made Wagner’s attempt to hand out bottled water to residents without power in the Van Tassel building on Saturday a little strange, but the point was obviously more the outreach.
Mayor Wray was there with him, as was State Senator Gustavo Rivera (serving Yonkers). As Wagner urged people to vote, Wray also promoted the warming shelters that had opened at various village locations.
The stairwells were barely navigable as dusk was falling and one man opened his door into his pitch-black apartment. He didn’t take the water, but he appreciated the gesture and being asked about his welfare. “We’re okay,” he said.
The Van Tassel residents and surrounding neighbors between Beekman and Pocantico were back on the grid as of Sunday night. As were nearby gas stations (who had gas all along but no power to dispense it). The polling places for both villages today are electrified, with only one on generator as of last night.
Campbell spoke of lessons learned from Sandy about community. "I would add that Hurricane Sandy has shown us how much we need each other, that we can't go it alone," he said. "I hope that realization translates into votes for both local and national candidates who will deliver a compassionate government."
Did you get visited by Wagner, or his people? Did someone else come to your door this election cycle? Did you feel bombarded by political mailers? Weigh in below.
Update 11:20 a.m.: Have a question for the Westchester Board of Elections today? Don't bother. Of course it's a hectic day following a ridiculous week, but they should at least empty their voicemails. Every extension I was sent to when I asked about an apparent polling venue change in the Manor, met with a voicemail box that was full. So looks like I'll take Abinanti up on his offer. He said if you encounter any problems today, try the BOE first, (914) 995-5700, and the assemblyman's office next, (914) 631-1605. Good luck.
Update 10:55 a.m.: so much for my last "Smooth Sailing" headline. Philipse Manor Cathy Golub reports this in the comments here, "Voter suppression in Sleepy Hollow! I went to my usual polling place and was turned away and told that I had to vote in a different location. When I got there, the lines were so long that I had to go to work. Will have to vote after work I guess. (no notifications were sent prior and this was not result of power issue, simply we got moved and NOT notified!)." I am looking into this and will report back. Has anyone else experienced confusion in the Manor?
Golub clarified she is in District 7 and always voted at the First Order of the Eagle, but instead was sent to Philipsburg Manor. She adds, "Also, didn't Cuomo say we could vote anywhere? Why did they send me away? Nothing against the people at the polling place, I know they are volunteers handling lots of different situations."
Update, 10 a.m.: Smooth Sailing at Village Polls
"We are starting on our second sheet... before 9 a.m., that's not bad," said veteran poll worker Bernice Hunter-Lemon at Union Hose housing Mt. Pleasant's districts 1 and 2. On an off-year with non-presidential races, you might see six voters by this point, she said.
Each turn-out sheet has about 50 names on it, and several polling places I visited this morning had all gone through one or multiple sheets so far. Riverside Hose had seen three sheets, or about 150.
Of course it's a big election this year, but voters I talked to said it's always a big year.
"It's important to me every year," said Mary Forbes who voted at Temple Beth Abraham before coming down to the train station for her commute. She said the small line "went through pretty smoothly," and described herself as a Democrat.
Though those I happened upon today admitted democratic loyalty, poll inspector Irene Ross, at Tarrytown's Village Hall serving Greenburgh's District 6 and 74, said our region's leanings didn't predict how tight the Presidential race would be nationally. "I think we'll have a long wait to see the results of this."
As far as power outages that plagued the villages for the last week, there seemed no sign of this today. Poll inspector George Hernandez, who works every election, said he just got his power in Sleepy Hollow on Friday but that certainly didn't impact his participation here.
Domingo Nunez, of Mt. Pleasant's District 2, said he was happy with how the country was heading under Democratic leadership. "The way the Democrats are running the country is good," he said. "You don't know what the other guy will have. These four years are not bad."
While voting is quick and relatively painless — some say the extra steps and Sharpies with paper ballots are somewhat confusing — the workers have signed on for a long day here. From 5:30 a.m. to about 9:30 p.m., Ross estimated, saying there were voters here ready to go 15 minutes before the polls opened at 6 a.m., and it hasn't let up since.
While many poll workers are people you come to know year after year, this is Greenburgh's Elyssa Lewis's first time. "I feel that...honestly?...this is important to our community for young people to become more aware."
Update: 5:30 a.m. Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti is re-running with no opposition, which leaves him time to fight the power (or lack of power) of Con Edison. Read more on his hot topic and what he's up to today here.
Local races and results:
U.S. House of Representatives, District 17 (85% reporting)Candidates # of votes percentage of vote Nita Lowey (D) 75,766 67 Joe Carvin (R) 37,089 33 Frank Morgenthaler (We the People) 1,011 1
New York State Senate, District 35 (76% reporting)Candidates # of votes percentage of vote Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) 56,098 100
New York State Senate, District 40 (85% reporting)Candidates # of votes percentage of vote Greg Ball (R) 33,328 48 Justin Wagner (D) 36,334 52
New York State Assembly, District 92 (84% reporting)Candidates # of votes percentage of votes Thomas Abinanti (D)
Greenburgh ballot proposal (82% reporting)
Proposition 1: Should the town be allowed, as the Board had unanimously approved, to enter to a lease with Game On 365 for the construction of a sports bubble operating a multi-purpose year-round facility?Proposition 1 # of votes percentage of votes Yes 7,473 66 No 3,863 34
State Supreme Court Justice, 9th District (choose three) (80% reporting)Candidate # of votes percentage of votes Gerald Loehr (D) 151,908 22 Noreen Calderin (R) 83,685 12 Maria Rosa (D) 168,596 24 Carl Chu (R) 66,141 9 Sandra Sciortino (D) 53,499 19 John LaCava (R) 93,579 13 Rory Lancman (WF) 5,309 1
County Court Judge (80% reporting)Candidate # of votes percentage of votes David Zuckerman (D) 156,351
65 Matthew J. Troy III (R) 83,773 35