Still counting: Hinchey and Amedure, Metzger and Martucci, Woodstock Library wait on absentee ballots

In State Senate District 46, Republican Richard M. Amedure Jr. leads Democrat Michelle Hinchey by six points, 51 percent to 45 percent, or 8171 votes. Both candidates are holding off on making statements of victory or concession while the absentee ballots are tabulated, which began the week after the in-person vote was held November 3. 

According to the state Board of Elections, 25,897 absentee ballots have been received for the race as of Monday out of a total of 33,868 requested. (The deadline to receive ballots postmarked domestically by Election Day was November 10, the next day.) Of the total received, just over half, or 13,311, came from Democratic voters, compared with 4980 (19 percent) from Republican voters, 5910 (23 percent) from unenrolled voters, and the remainder from third parties. 

Both candidates were positive about the result, added a note about Upstate getting its due, and called for all votes to be tallied. 

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“The numbers that came in on election night show that our message resonated: New Yorkers are not happy with the direction the state has moved in under one party rule, and they want a strong Upstate voice to help provide more security, affordability and opportunity in our communities,” said Amedure, a retired state trooper who lives in Rensselaerville. “Each vote must be counted, and as that process gets under way I am optimistic that our numbers will hold.”

“There is no better birthday present today than the support of the people of the 46th District—thank you,” said Hinchey, a communications executive from Saugerties. “We began this race over a year ago to make sure that Upstate New Yorkers have a voice in Albany, and we will make sure each one of their votes are counted. We are strongly encouraged by our competitive standing tonight, the historic number of absentee ballots and the connection that we made with voters of all political stripes. We look forward to the next steps.”

District 46 includes Montgomery and Greene counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster counties. It was previously represented by George Amedore, who retired this year, and has been the subject of close races before. Democrat Cecelia Tkaczyk defeated Amedore by just 18 votes in 2012 in a race that required several months and lawsuits to resolve. (The rematch in 2014 was more decisive, with Amedore winning by 11,000 votes.)

— Will Dendis

Jen Metzger and Mike Martucci.

Metzger trails Martucci 

Amidst all the uncertainty of Election Night 2020, one of the local races that hung in the balance was Rosendale resident Jen Metzger’s bid for a second term representing District 42 in the New York State Senate, which includes all of Sullivan and parts of Ulster, Orange and Delaware Counties. Just before midnight on November 3, Metzger – who ran on the Democratic, Working Families and SAM party lines – called the race “too close to call,” anticipating “counting absentees to be an orderly process that will take several weeks, and we will patiently await the final results. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to fight for the communities I represent.”Shortly thereafter, her challenger, New Hampton resident, school-bus entrepreneur and political neophyte Mike Martucci, claimed victory for his bid on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines, calling it the “election upset of the year.” District voters, according to Martucci, “overwhelmingly rejected the policies pursued and championed by Senator Metzger such as bail elimination, single-payer healthcare, high taxes and ruinous regulations.”

Unofficial Election Night results posted by the New York State Board of Elections showed Martucci with 52.65 percent of the votes, 58,685, to Metzger’s 43.11 percent, 48,054. The NYS-BOE’s Master Absentee Ballot Survey dated November 5 indicated that a total of 17,405 absentee ballots had been mailed out in District 42, with requests by registered Democrats outweighing those by registered Republicans by more than two to one. Of these, 12,700 absentee votes had been returned by that date, but the tallies for the respective candidates had not yet been released as of presstime.

In his press release dated November 4, Martucci said his margin of victory at the polls was substantial enough to overcome the number of mail-in and absentee ballots on file with the Board of Elections. “In order for Senator Metzger to overcome the deficit, she would need to carry every single third-party and non-affiliated vote cast by mail by a margin of three to one – a mathematical impossibility.” He expressed a wish “to begin working immediately with Senator Metzger to effect an orderly transition.”

As of November 9, Metzger had not conceded the contest. She continued to post her usual several-times-daily informational updates on Facebook about legislative breakthroughs, funding awarded to local programs, and resources available to her constituents in the district.

— Frances Marion Platt

Library bond too close to call

Woodstock Library officials are still waiting for absentee ballots to find out whether voters approved a $5.8-million bond for a new 12,500-square-foot library.

Election night results showed the bond down 78 votes and too close to call, with 1581 yes and 1659 no. The tally includes early voting results. The library is counting over 1000 absentee ballots received as of November 3. Election officials won’t start to open and tally absentee ballots until November 10. 

According to the Woodstock Library board, the Ulster County Board of Elections has advised that they will likely not know the final outcome until November 23-24. 

— Nick Henderson