AUBURN — After the absentee ballot count Tuesday, Michael Didio is the likely winner of the race to represent Cayuga County's 14th Legislative District.
Didio, a Republican, received 37 additional votes. Democratic challenger Gwen Webber-McLeod netted 24 votes. When combined with the unofficial tally from election night, Didio now leads Webber-McLeod by a 597-583 margin.
There were 80 absentee ballots and seven affidavits in the 14th district race. While most ballots were accepted during Tuesday's count, some were either challenged by representatives for the candidates or rejected due to flaws.
According to the Cayuga County Board of Elections, 17 ballots were challenged by representatives for either Didio or Webber-McLeod. To have the challenges heard, a candidate would need to take the matter to court.
The 14th District count received much attention because it will determine which party controls the county Legislature. On election night, Didio held a one-vote lead over Webber-McLeod.
Majority control is based on weighted voting. To win the majority, one party needs to secure 442 weighted votes. After election night, Democrats had 418 weighted votes and Republicans had 417.
Locastro maintains lead over Carabajal
Newcomer Tim Locastro, a Republican, still leads over incumbent Democrat Dia Carabajal for the second of two seats on the Auburn City Council.
Locastro padded his narrow lead over Carabajal with 52 votes in two of Auburn's six legislative districts. Carabajal received 48 votes in those districts.
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With the early absentee ballot results and the election night returns, Locastro now leads by 33 votes, 2,878 to 2,845, over Carabajal.
Jimmy Giannettino, a Democrat seeking another four-year term, received the most votes on election night. He also received 52 absentee votes to pad his advantage over the rest of the five-candidate field.
Republican candidate Adam Miller received an additional 30 votes after the absentees from two districts were counted. Justin Burchard, a Libertarian candidate, received one more vote.
The Cayuga County Board of Elections will resume absentee ballot counting Wednesday. The final unofficial tally will be available after the ballots are reviewed.
Nightengale defeats Darrow
The elections board did count absentees in the 10th Legislative District. Democratic candidate Heidi Nightengale is the winner of that race.
Nightengale led by 26 votes, 349 to 323, over Republican contender Ed Darrow. After the absentee ballot count, Darrow added 26 votes. But it wasn't enough to overcome Nightengale's lead. She netted 17 votes in the process.
With the absentees included, Nightengale's margin of victory is 17 votes — 366 to 349.