As the counting of mail-in ballots alters the course of elections across the country, Leslie Danks Burke (D), candidate for the 58th district seat in the New York State Senate, hopes that the same phenomenon means she still has a chance against incumbent State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R).
In an email Thursday night, Danks Burke reassured supporters that almost a quarter of votes have yet to be counted, and that her campaign is still hopeful they will be able to close the 22,000-vote gap between her and O’Mara. As of Friday, O’Mara tallied 59.23 percent of counted votes, while Danks Burke was at 36.99 percent.
Danks Burke’s campaign’s email said more than 34,000 votes have yet to be counted. According to the Tompkins County Board of Elections’ Deputy Commissioner Tamara Scott, around 13,000 of those ballots come from mail-in ballots in Tompkins County.
The 58th district includes Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates and portions of Tompkins County, including Ithaca.
O’Mara is certain of his reelection. “I won this election,” O’Mara said in an interview with The Sun on Wednesday. “I’m up by 23,000 votes, there aren’t many more than that in absentee ballots.”
In response to candidates calling the election before results are certified, Scott said, “We don’t control what they do.” She said the mail-in ballots will begin being counted Tuesday, Nov. 10.
As votes continue to trickle in, Danks Burke’s campaign will continue working to “respect every single vote out there,” according to the campaign’s email. The email also claimed most of the remaining ballots are from Democrats, while most Republicans voted in person.
Danks Burke is in no rush to call the election and does not appear to be considering conceding as of now.
“After a year of running this campaign, I can wait two more weeks to make sure that every single vote is counted,” Danks Burke said at a press conference outside of Pasta Vito the evening of Election Day.
Ari Dubow ’21 contributed reporting.