Onondaga County, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Onondaga County Board of Elections will remain closed this entire week after 8 staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
The shutdown also caused absentee ballot counting to pause until after Thanksgiving.
Democratic Elections Commissioner, Dustin Czarny says he was shocked how the outbreak detoured the boards plans for ballot counting.
“Like Mike Tyson says, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the nose,” said Czarny. “…and that’s what happened.”
Czarny also said Onondaga County was on pace of being one of the first finished with ballot counting but that has since changed and local voters are eager for election results.
Phil Zollo, who has established is own accounting firm in Syracuse, feels bad for the employees who contracted the virus but is exhausted with the wait.
“My heart goes out to the people who tested positive for covid,” said Zollo. “…but this whole election season, I would say the last couple of months has been draining…”
This year, voting was a success in Onondaga County, which Czarny explained how the number of absentee ballots skyrocketed compared to any other.
“57,000 absentee ballots, when we only usually have around 10 to 14,000 at most,” said Czarny. “Sometimes only 3 to 5,000, so this has been a big change.”
Czarny says the board will do a partial certification of the Presidential Election on Nov. 28th and plans to be back to counting ballots on Nov. 30th.
“I really believe that we will persevere and that we will get through,” said Czarny.