When will absentee ballots be counted?
Bay Ridge and Coney Island City Council races hinge on mail-in votes
BY BEN VERDE
& JESSICA PARKS
With a handful of critical
races in the Nov. 3 city elections
still up for grabs, all attention is
turning to absentee ballots.
The Board of Elections says
ballots will start being opened
citywide on Nov. 15 at 10 am,
and results for each district
will be posted the day each of
them are counted.
Many elections, like Borough
President Eric Adams’
victory in the mayor’s race,
and Park Slope Councilmember
Brad Lander’s elevation to
the comptroller’s offi ce, have
already been decided, as their
election day margins were
But in southern Brooklyn,
the yet-to-be-counted votes
are monumentally important
to races like the 43rd Council
District in Bay Ridge, Dyker
Heights, Bath Beach and parts
of Bensonhurst, where incumbent
Democrat Justin Brannan
slightly trails Republican challenger
Brian Fox, with over
1,500 Democratic absentee ballots
to be counted and 214 Republican
Both campaigns have expressed
COURIER LIFE, N 4 OVEMBER 12-18, 2021
optimism that the
count will go in their favor.
“We are confi dent that when
all the votes are counted, Councilmember
Justin Brannan will
be re-elected despite a nationally
turbulent atmosphere. Just
as in 2020, absentee votes will
make up the margin of victory,
and Democrats have a massive
1,083 to 281 lead with absentees
as of Tuesday,” said Brannan
campaign spokesman Daniele
By the end of election week,
there were over 1,200 Democratic
absentee ballots at stake,
according to the incumbent’s
offi ce, and just 263 Republican
and Conservative. Still, Brannan’s
opponent is holding out
“We feel very strong,” said
Fox campaign spokesperson
Likewise, the race for the
47th District, encompassing
parts of Coney Island and
Brighton Beach, will also hinge
on counting all absentees before
Democrat Ari Kagan currently
leads his Republican and
Save the Planet party opponent
Mark Szuszkiewicz, but with
just under 300 votes between
them, the race to rep City Council’s
47th District will hinge on
absentee ballots for a fi nal call.
“I feel great, I feel energized,
I am very happy,” Kagan told
Kagan, an aide for outgoing
Councilmember Mark Treyger
and a district leader for the 45th
Assembly District, previously
ran against Chaim Deutsch
for the neighboring District 48
Council seat in 2013 and against
primary opponent Alec Brook-
Krasny to represent Assembly
District 46 in 2006.
Szuszkiewicz — a known
Qanon supporter who also attended
the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
(but says he did not storm the
building) — was previously a
contender in the 2020 District 46
Assembly race, where he caused
a shocking upset, taking the
lead from incumbent Assemblymember
by 2,000 votes on election night.
She went on to win reelection by
838 votes when absentee ballots
The 47th District encompasses
a swath of southern
Brooklyn that is historically
more likely to vote Republican
than more northern Brooklyn
districts, but is currently led by
Democratic Treyger — as is the
case with Brannan’s constituency.
Kagan currently has 51 percent
of the vote (6,592) to Szuszkiewicz’s
49 percent (6,309), according
to unoffi cial Board of
Elections results. Kagan’s camp
hopes his 283-vote margin will
only grow once the district’s
923 absentee ballots are counted
— a huge majority, 704 of them,
belonging to registered Democrats.
Just 104 of those votes are
registered to Republicans and
Conservatives, giving Kagan the
The NYC Board of Elections will soon begin counting absentee ballots.
Photo by Mark Hallum
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