Close race: Colchester's Gilbert Close holds onto town council seat

A race between Republican incumbent Gilbert Close and Democratic challenger Bonnie Seegmiller for a seat on Colchester's town council was too close to call following last Tuesday's election. In an unofficial machine count of the ballots cast at the polls on November 6, Close led Seegmiller by just one vote, 398-397.

Results are still unofficial, but with most absentee ballots now counted, the race is almost certain to go to Close. On Tuesday, November 13, the Delaware County Board of Elections counted all of the absentee ballots they have received so far. Republican election commissioner William Campbell said the unofficial count is now 447 for Close, 439 for Seegmiller.

Because of an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to ensure that voters affected by Sandy could cast absentee ballots, the Board of Elections must accept absentee ballots until at least Monday, November 19.

"That's the last day that we can accept a ballot," Campbell said. "It would appear if you look at the raw numbers that Close has won, but we have to make sure we check every single ballot."

Only 12 absentee ballots from Colchester were still outstanding, Campbell said.

Earlier today, Seegmiller, who regularly posts accounts of town meetings on the Colchester Community Facebook group, conceded in a post that Close had won the race.

Election commissioners are about halfway through a count of absentee ballots in another close race in Delaware County, for the county judge's seat. With about half the towns counted, Campbell said, incumbent Republican judge Carl Becker currently holds a lead of roughly 225 votes over Democratic challenger Gary Rosa. An unofficial machine count on November 6 had Becker ahead by 175 votes, with 8,335 to Rosa's 8,160.