Primary vote count nears conclusion, awaits certification

Jul 7, 2020

On the fourth day of absentee vote counting for the June 23 primaries, Monroe County elections officials say they’re just about done -- with this part of the process, that is. 

They now must begin the next step -- certifying all of the votes -- which Republican Elections Commissioner Lisa Nicolay said could take just as long.

Credit James Brown / WXXI News

“I think we’ll be finished by the end of the week, wrapped up, 100%. Bow on it,” said Nicolay. 

By law, the count couldn’t start until a week after the election. Nicolay said the time-consuming process may make the Board of Elections stronger.

“We will take all our learning experiences from this because it was so unusual, and I do think it will make us a better-prepared board moving forward,” she said. 

Most voters cast two ballots -- one for the presidential primaries and the other for local and state elections. Once the roughly 80,000 ballots sent by mail and the thousands more ballots cast in person are certified and sent to the state, that same information will be released to the public. 

That large number of absentee votes is due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo loosening requirements for absentee ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Acting Democratic Elections Commissioner LaShana Boose thanked the candidates for their patience. She said the Board of Elections needs to carefully follow its process.

“We don’t want to call it,” Boose said. “Only because even though we’re done counting, there’s still a process where we have to give an official report called a certification to the state and we want that all to be at once.”

Boose is also hoping to release the votes by Friday but said the process could slip into next week.