Broome County elections rely on absentee votes - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Broome County elections rely on absentee votes

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County elections officials counted absentee ballots on Thursday County elections officials counted absentee ballots on Thursday
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- -

The power of the absentee vote was clear in Broome County Wednesday, as those who couldn't vote on election day had their voices heard.

Binghamton's 7th District seat was awarded to Thomas Scanlon by 21 votes, after being only one vote ahead on election day. The Windsor Village Trustee vote was awarded to Robert West, Jr. by a mere 10 votes after all the votes were tallied.

Proving absentee voting is key part of election season, Broome County election officials want the public to know absentee votes are just as important as votes cast on election day.

"We want to make sure that everyone who did vote, that their vote is counted whether it's deciding an election or not. It's important for people to know and understand, and believe that their vote is counted and it matters," said Broome County Elections Commissioner Oliver Blaise (R).

Absentee voting is the only option for those who are out of town or unable to vote on election day, and while some people may think those votes won't be counted in time or at all, this year's election proved that thinking false, as a handful of county races were decided be a few dozen votes.

The process for counting absentee ballots is similar to the process on election day. Ballots are inspected by both a democrat and republican election official . If a ballot fails inspection, both the Democratic and Republican elections commissioners need to agree on voiding the ballot.

"What we're doing is we're counting absentee and affidavit ballots. Those are ballots that were submitted by voters that either couldn't vote on election day or when they got to the polls they weren't in the poll books," said Broome County Elections Commissioner John Perticone (D).

"Once they're inspected in this room and cleared, they're physically carried into our counting room, and then they're fed into the machine and it scans them and counts the ballot."

This machine to count absentee ballots is similar to the one used on election day to count ballots.

Races that came down to absentee ballots prove that every vote is counted and every vote is important, no matter which election or how the vote is cast.

County officials tell us they believe it was a record-breaking election for absentee voting in Broome County.

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