More than two weeks after the election, the verdict is still out on who will be sworn in to lead the City of Glen Cove next year. After the 310 absentee ballots and affidavits were counted by the Nassau County Board of Elections on Friday, Nov. 17, Mayor Reggie Spinello remained in the lead by 13 votes, narrowing his initial 21-vote lead over Councilman Tim Tenke. However, the results won’t be finalized for at least another week.
After the count, Spinello had 2,760 votes and Tenke had 2,747. However, 64 ballots have been challenged by attorneys. On Tuesday, Nov. 28, a Nassau County Supreme Court judge is expected to start reviewing the ballots.
Spinello’s attorney challenged 35 ballots and Tenke’s challenged 29, for reasons including ballot signatures that allegedly don’t match those signatures that the board of elections has on file.
The official rules of the Board of Elections states that applications for absentee ballots must be mailed seven days before the election, or hand-delivered to the county board of elections by the day before the election. Absentee voters must either personally deliver their ballots to the board of elections by the close of polls on election day or else the ballot must be postmarked by a governmental postal service no later than the day before the election and received no later than the seventh day after the election. Once all ballots have been returned, the elections board and attorneys for both candidates open and review all of the ballots at the same time.
“This has been a close race but I believe we will have the needed amount of votes when the counting is done,” said Spinello.
During Spinello’s initial run for mayor in 2013, against incumbent Ralph Suozzi, the result also came down to absentee and affidavit ballots. Spinello won that election by 74 votes.
In a city with a population of 27,341, only 5,407 people cast their votes in the Nov. 7 election.