Nearly all of the 2019 elections have wrapped up in Broome County, resulting in two Binghamton University faculty members and an alumna winning council seats. However, the Broome County district attorney (DA) race will hinge on the absentee ballot count.
In the DA race, Libertarian candidate Michael Korchak has emerged as a front-runner. Although the race has yet to be determined, Korchak has accumulated 14,882 votes against Republican Paul Battisti’s 14,760 votes, a close 122-vote gap with about 1,560 absentee ballots waiting to be counted. Debra Gelson, the Democratic candidate, trails with 10,863 votes.
In a statement from on his campaign Facebook page, Korchak thanked supporters and workers at the polls, acknowledging his top spot in the race.
“We are very pleased to be 122 votes ahead of our opponent and looking forward to the counting of the remaining ballots on Nov. 19,” Korchak said. “We believe that the incredibly high-voter turnout demonstrates the importance of this election and we will not rest until each and every vote is counted.”
Voter turnout for in Broome County was roughly on par with 2015 elections, with approximately 42,000 voters heading to the polls. 2019 was the first time New York voters saw early elections, with about 5,800 voting before election day.
In a statement on Facebook, Battisti stressed the importance of the Board of Elections in determining the final count for the DA race.
“It appears that we’re down by 122 votes as of [Tuesday night’s] unofficial results,” Battisti said. “There are still more than 1,500 absentee ballots to be counted, and the Board of Elections must re-canvass tonight’s numbers to ensure that no errors were made.”
Absentee ballots can take up to 10 days to be fully counted, according to the U.S. Vote Foundation.
All seven of the seats in the Binghamton City Council were up for election this year, with more than half of the seats left vacant by the incumbent council members.
In district two, which encompasses the area west of Laurel Avenue between Main Street and Riverside Drive on Binghamton’s West Side, incumbent Democratic council member Dan Livingston was defeated by Republican Sophia Resciniti, ‘06, by 154 votes. Resciniti, who held the council position before Livingston, is a lecturer of social work at BU and totaled 1,148 votes.
Resciniti thanked supporters on Tuesday night and said she will get to work as soon as possible.
“An enormous thank you to each and every one of my supporters,” Resciniti said in a statement on Facebook. “My family, campaign volunteers and complete strangers who put their faith in me to make the West Side better. Let’s get to work.”
In neighboring district three, which is comprised of the area east of Laurel Avenue between Main Street and Riverside Drive on Binghamton’s West Side, Democratic candidate Angela Riley won against Republican Shawn Atkinson. Riley, assistant dean of BU’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and executive director of experiential education at BU, won with 723 votes — 487 more votes than Atkinson’s count. The district three seat was left vacant by Dani Croce, who announced in March that she would not be seeking reelection.
In a statement from Riley’s Facebook page, Riley thanked her supporters and looked toward her future role.
“This election has been an incredible experience for me,” Riley said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in this city and will be leaning on all of you again to get this done.”
In district four, encompassing Downtown Binghamton and the city’s North Side, Democratic candidate Aviva Friedman, ‘14, beat Republican John Cordisco. Friedman, a member of Progressive Leaders Of Tomorrow (PLOT), won with 429 votes against Cordisco’s 322 votes. The district four seat was vacated by Conrad Taylor, ‘17, who also announced in March he would not be seeking reelection. Friedman’s win marks a major victory for PLOT, which has drawn praise and condemnation for its progressive stances and demonstrations.
Nevertheless, the council will maintain a Republican majority, with the winners of districts one, five, six and seven setting the tone for the year ahead.