Orangetown Supervisor’s Race Still Too Close to Call

Incumbent supervisor continues to challenge absentee ballots

BY BILL DEMAREST AND DYLAN SKRILOFF

A court review of outstanding absentee ballots in the Orangetown supervisor race may be settled today. Arguments are ongoing Tuesday afternoon before the NY Supreme Court in New City.

Incumbent Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart said on Friday the results of the Nov. 5 election are still too close to call and he is continuing to challenge the legalities of some absentee ballots in the race between himself and Republican Walter Wettje Jr.

“Out of the 54 ballots remaining, there are a small number of less than a dozen absentee ballots that my attorney advises me appear to have serious legal issues surrounding them,” said Stewart, a Nyack Democrat. “Some were signed by a different voter than the one who requested the absentee ballot, others came in late, show signs of tamping, and otherwise raise questions about the integrity of the ballot sealed inside. Given how close this election is, I believe that it would be a disservice to voters if the final result were determined by these legally dubious ballots.”
On Election Night, Wettje had a 36-vote lead over Stewart. A review of other ballots and absentee ballots reduced that lead to 18 votes with 54 absentee ballots remaining to be counted. The voting clearly divided Orangetown, with the river village communities voting heavily in favor of Stewart, while the western portion of the town voted heavily for Wettje.

Wettje said he believed victory was his. He said, “With only 54 absentee ballots remaining to be counted, I now hold an 18-vote lead over Supervisor Andy Stewart. I am confident that I will be declared the winner after all of the ballots have been counted and all of Mr. Stewart’s legal challenges have been considered. I appreciate the tremendous support that I have received during this exciting campaign and I am very optimistic as we finally approach the final line.”