Absentee Vote Count Postponed in Golden-Gounardes Race

More than a week after Election Day, the contest between Republican state Sen. Martin Golden and Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes was still not close to being certified by the Board of Elections.

On Nov. 15, it was learned that the Board of Elections’ official count of absentee ballots that had been scheduled to take place that day was being postponed until the following day, Nov. 16.

Gounardes, a lawyer, is the apparent winner of the race, having earned 50.9 percent of the vote total (31,168 votes) to Golden’s 49.1 percent (30,039 votes) in the 22nd Senate District.

Golden announced to his supporters on Election Night that he would not concede the race until all of the votes, including absentee ballots, had been counted. “We are not done,” he told supporters that night.

Officials at the Board of Elections could not be reached at press time, but a spokesperson for the Gounardes campaign said the reason for the one-day delay in counting absentee ballots had to do with equipment.

“We were told that they were waiting on the equipment for counting the absentee ballots, which will not arrive until 3 p.m. today,” the spokesperson told this newspaper via email on Nov. 15.

The process of counting the ballots will take two to three days, according to most estimates.

“We are hopeful that this can be wrapped up by Monday morning,” the Gounardes spokesperson wrote in the email.

That would be nearly two weeks after the Nov. 6 election.

Golden is willing to wait, his campaign spokesperson said.

“There’s a process in place to count every vote, and both sides in this campaign are working through that process,” Golden campaign spokesperson Michael Tobman told this newspaper earlier in the week.

The 22nd Senate District, which Golden has represented since 2002 and which Gounardes will likely start representing January, takes in a large swath of Southwest Brooklyn, including parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach.

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