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Six Ballots to be Counted in Orangetown Supervisor Election

UPDATE: The remaining Orangetown ballots will be counted 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Rockland Board of Elections in New City.

Judge Victor J. Alfieri ruled Tuesday that six of the remaining Orangetown absentee ballots should be tossed out, leaving six more to be counted, but results will not be in until Wednesday. 

The six ballots will be counted 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Rockland County Board of Elections in New City.  Though all races including votes from Orangetown are waiting the final count to be certified, it is the election for Orangetown Supervisor that remains undetermined. 

Before the final absentee ballots were counted, incumbent Supervisor Andy Stewart, a Democrat from Nyack, held a three-vote lead with 6,161 to Republican challenger Walter Wettje’s 6,158. Stewart had challenged the final 12 absentee ballots, though he removed his challenge of one of them. 

Alfieri denied a petition from Stewart to consider removing 41 ballots that had already been counted. Stewart’s attorney, Alan Goldston, argued that the applications for absentee ballots did not include a statement that the applicant had a “good-faith belief” that he or she would be unable to make it to the polls on election day and that such a statement is required by election law.  His claim was that without such a statement, the 41 ballots were invalid and the votes should not be counted.

Those 41 votes had been counted with a method that allows them to be pulled back out of the total. The same method was used for the final 12 ballots which Stewart had challenged.

It is likely the results will be appealed regardless who comes out ahead. 

This is Wettje’s first time running for elected office. Stewart was elected in November of 2011 and is finishing out his two-year term. 

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