Castelli Likely Winner as Final Vote-Check Begins in 89th Assembly Race

The Westchester County Board of Elections works to confirm numbers in each voting machine within the 89th Assembly voting district.

The ballot recanvassing process in the began Thursday morning in what could be the final opportunity for Democrat Thomas Roach to crack into incumbent Robert Castelli's .

Representatives from both parties oversaw county board of elections workers to compare memory cards from each voting machine with printed totals from each location. The numbers are then compared in an attempt to ensure that every valuable vote is accounted for.

The process is done for each race—from local to state government—in the county. But the 89th Assembly race is one of only a few where an error in one machine could potentially make a difference in the final winner. For that reason those votes will be counted first.

"We are just proofing everything out to make sure nothing went astray," said Jeannie Palazola, the Democratic deputy commissioner of the county board of elections.

Although results from each machine will be analyzed, a 100 vote shift is very unlikely. Historically only one or two votes at most are rejected by the process, elections officials say, making Castelli's current lead nearly insurmountable.

"It's not going to happen," Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Doug Colety said. "The numbers won't change, we're just double-checking to make sure we were counting all the ballots."

In order for the race to become official, however, it must be certified by a judge. That could take as long as a few days or come as quickly as Thursday evening, elections officials said.

Castelli said on Tuesday that he won't declare victory until the count has been certified. Roach has not conceded. Entering Thursday Castelli led Roach 19,491 to 19,380 in the total vote count, according to the Westchester County Board of Elections. 

If the vote is certified as it stands Castelli would be elected to his first full term as the 89th Assembly District representative. He has served since February when he defeated Katonah's Peter Harckham in a .


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