When the dust settled, the anticipated Red Wave turned out to be more of a trickle, at least nationally and in statewide offices. In Washington County, however, the wave curled over most Democratic candidates. Here is an election day rundown as far as the county ballot tabulations go.
Incumbent Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Lee Zeldin for a four-year term and became the first woman ever elected Governor in New York State. In Washington County, however, Zeldin outpolled Hochul 13,334 to 7,450.
Incumbent Democrat Thomas DiNapoli easily outdistanced Republican challenger Paul Rodriguez but again not so much in Washington County, where Rodriguez won the tally 11,742 to 8,687.
Letitia James, the Democratic incumbent, was re-elected by a large margin, but it was not with the help of the voters in Washington County where her Republican opponent Michael Henry easily outpolled her, 12,573 to 7,872.
Here it is a case of déjà vu all over again (the great Yogi Berra quote) as incumbent Chuck Schumer won his fifth term over Republican Joe Pinion but lost the tally in the county, 12,217 to 8,241.
In a contest that saw lots of dollars poured into the campaigns by both the Republican and Democratic national parties, incumbent 21st District Rep. Elise Stefanik defeated her Democratic challenger Matt Castelli districtwide by a 3 to 2 margin. In Washington County, Stefanik garnered 12,741 votes to Castelli’s 8,046. In a statement on Election night, Stefanik said she was humbled to have once again earned the overwhelming trust and support from Upstate New York and North Country families.
The county is split into two districts. In the 43rd, Assemblyman Jake Ashby was elected to the Senate seat over Democrat Andrea Smyth. In the county, Ashby picked up 8,248 votes to Smyth’s 5,179. He thanked all who worked so hard for this result. In the 45th District, Republican Dan Stec easily turned back the challenge from Democrat Jean Lapper, both districtwide and in Washington County, where he won by a 5,025 to 1,854 margin.
There are three Assembly Districts that cover portions of Washington County. The only contested race was in the 113th, where Democratic Incumbent Carrie Woerner was re-elected over her Republican opponent David Catalfamo. In the county, however, it was a close contest, with Catalfamo winning by just six votes, 2,909 to 2,903. In the 107th district, Republican Scott Bendett was unopposed as was incumbent Republican Matt Simpson in the 114th.
There were only two contested local races countywide this year. In Kingsbury Democrat Jeffrey Zappieri was opposed by Republican James Lindsay for a one-year unexpired term on the Town Board. Lindsay won that race 2,395 to 1,178. In Greenwich it was a much tighter race for the position of highway superintendent as Democrat Stanley Mattison Jr. downed Republican Glenn Davis 1,187 to 1.090.
State Supreme Court
All ballots were not yet counted here, but Republican Allison McGahay has locked up one of the three open seats on the bench. Republican Richard Kupferman was in second place, followed closely by Democrat Robert Muller. Republican Chris Obstarczyk outpolled Muller in the county but district-wide is currently in fourth place.
The ballot question was overwhelming approved statewide and gained voter approval in the county as well by a 9,919 to 9,451 vote.
Election Day ballot sheet issues addressed in Washington County
Several Washington County towns reported problems with ballot sheets being accepted by voting machines last Tuesday, Election Day, Nov. 8.
According to Republican Election Commissioner Tom Rogers the problem lay in the size of the paper ballots. Some printing issues adjusted the side tabs so those ballots were not being recognized.
Commissioner Rogers was quick to point there is no fraud involved, simply a technical snafu, and there was a procedure in place to accurately count these votes.
Ballots that could not be read were placed in a secure lock box at the bottom of the machine. Once balloting closed, they were placed in secure bags that were then transported to the Board of Elections office, where Rogers said he and Democratic Commissioner Jeff Curtis hand counted the ballots and added them to each affected town’s totals. Thus, final tallies for the few local elections were not available until Wednesday.
Rogers identified the towns where these problems took place as Argyle, Cambridge, Dresden, Easton, Fort Ann, Fort Edward and Granville. The Board of Elections replaced the faulty ballots with others that tested as working properly.
Bringing back the old balloting machines
Remember the old booth machines where you pulled a curtain behind you, yanked the levers for the person you wished to vote for, retracted the curtain and your voted was counted and the levers reset?
Problems like this sometimes bring out statements like “bring back our old machines.” According to Commissioner Rogers that is never going to happen; in fact the county has already disposed of some of these relics. One he says, is in a museum, another is part of a riverbank construction and a third sits in a highway garage as a storage closet.
So much for that idea.