Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) A recent COVID-19 outbreak at the Onondaga County Board of Elections has halted the counting of mail-in and absentee ballots.
Ballot counting paused after one election staff member was confirmed positive for COVID-19 last Friday, prompting the Board of Elections to close their doors until after Thanksgiving.
Eight additional employees tested positive on Monday of this week.
The delay in ballot counting continues to delay the outcome for several local races, like the race for the 127th State Assembly District.
Venesky, a Republican, saw a commanding lead on election night.
“Mark was up by 1,000 ballots, and then we started the count on the absentee,” says Jim Corl, Venesky’s campaign manager.
After election night, the predominantly democrat mail-in and absentee ballots have narrowed the race.
“Well it’s very unnerving because it was like a roller coaster,” says Corl.
Stirpe now leads by several hundred votes and there are still thousands of ballots to be counted primarily from the Clay and Manlius areas, according to Corl.
The delay at the Board of Elections is only increasing the suspense for Corl and the rest of his team.
“Everything seems to be going good, you’re going back in the right direction and then the plug gets pulled on us again,” Corl adds “the die are already cast, it’s a game of wait and see.”
Corl and the Venesky campaign will have to wait until November 30, when the Board of Elections plans to resume ballot counting.