Following the Broome County Board of Election’s Tuesday recount of two neck-and-neck Binghamton City Council races, Democrats have officially secured six council seats, with the seventh left tied.

Races for the City Council’s sixth and seventh districts were subject to a recount after both were too close to call after the Nov. 7 general election. Following the tallying of all outstanding ballots last week, Philip Strawn, the incumbent sixth district Republican councilman, was ahead of Democrat Rebecca Rathmell by one vote — 550 to 549 — while incumbent seventh district Republican Councilman Tom Scanlon was trailing Michael Dundon, his Democratic challenger, by six votes. Under New York state law, a manual recount must be performed for any race where a candidate wins by less than 20 votes or 0.5 percent of the vote.

The recount began this Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Board of Elections Auditorium, where four bipartisan teams of hand-counters manually tallied each vote cast in both respective races. In the sixth district, Strawn is now evenly tied with Rathmell with 550 votes each. In the seventh district, Dundon’s advantage over Scanlon shrunk to a five-vote lead, 508-503.

Democrats had already secured control of districts one through five after the election, giving them a supermajority in City Council and flipping the chamber from a four to three Republican majority. Democrat Debra Gelson also won the race for Binghamton City Judge, while Republican Paul Battisti beat former Binghamton Mayor and Democrat Matt Ryan for the hotly contested District Attorney race. Following the recount’s completion, Teri Rennia, the chairwoman of the Binghamton City Democratic Committee, released a statement lauding local Democrats’ success this month.

“With victories in [six] of [seven] City Council seats, a tie in a reconfigured district, and the election of Debra Gelson for City Court judge, Binghamton voters have sent a resounding message,” Rennia wrote. “By ending one-party rule, Binghamton residents have made clear that they are demanding transparency and accountability. Binghamton residents are demanding and soon will have representation that will put the needs of their neighbors before the desires of their friends and campaign donors.”

Strawn, Rathmell and Scanlon’s campaigns did not respond to Pipe Dream’s request for comment. A representative for Dundon’s campaign emphasized the impact that the election results will have for the city.

The Binghamton City Council will now have to find a temporary replacement to represent the sixth district. A tied result is considered to be a “failure to elect” under New York state election law, meaning that a special election must be held for voters to select a permanent representative for the sixth district. Though the special election has yet to be organized, the newly elected City Council will appoint an interim councilmember in January.

Logan Blakeslee, the secretary of Binghamton University’s College Republicans and a senior double-majoring in history and political science, described how close election results highlight the importance of candidates engaging with all eligible voters.

“In local races, a single ballot can bring significant change and students should always take the opportunity to vote,” Blakeslee wrote in an email. “That being said, Republican candidates went out of their way to avoid reaching students or involving younger voters. City residents have made it plainly clear that housing is the [No. 1] issue this year, and Republicans need to have solutions on it instead of hiding from the press and voters. We hope that our party can learn from this experience.”

Atticus Fauci, the president of BU College Democrats and a sophomore majoring in economics, noted the contributions that the organization made in ensuring Democratic victories in both races.

“Once again, College Democrats worked hard alongside Binghamton Democrats to win these City Council races,” Fauci wrote. “We saw [firsthand] the hard work the members of this community, students included, were putting in to get our leaders elected.”