2012-09-13 / Politics

Absentees to be Counted Thursday, as Incumbent Saland in Barnburner for Senate

Katz, Castellano winners on Primary Day in Putnam County
Tim Greco & Eric Gross

In a turn of events that will shock Albany politics, State Senator Stephen Saland is in a barnburner with Neil Di Carlo in the Republican primary. While Saland is leading, the race is too close to call.

Social issues, especially gay marriage, seem to have driven the vote. Saland was one of the handul of Republicans who supported it. Di Carlo is opposed, and is also a staunch pro-life candidate. 

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Steven Katz and Putnam Legi

slature hopeful Joseph Castellano were winners on Primary Day in Putnam County.

Saland, a resident of Poughkeepsie squeaked by Neil DiCarlo of Brewster by a vote of 351-322 in Putnam County, which is a small part of the district. In the much larger Dutchess County portion, Saland was leading, 4969 to 4927, according to reports, but more than 500 absentee ballots are yet to be counted Sept. 20.

Katz, who resides in Mohegan Lake, defeated Dario Gristina of Putnam Valley by 920-450 in Putnam.

At a victory celebration in Carmel, Katz said he was both pleased as well as being humbled by the overwhelming support: "I am heartened by this showing and look forward to victory in November."

In the District No. 7 Legislature race, Joseph Castellano crushed Norman Marino of Mahopac by a tally of 171-55. However, Castellano lost a bid to run on the Independence Line when 17 write-ins were cast to Castellano's 8 votes. Paul Morini, the Democratic candidate in November for the seat being vacated by Dan Birmingham, was at Board of Elections headquarters on Thursday evening and felt confidant that he had taken the line. Opportunity to Ballots will be counted next week.

Less than 2,000 of the 23,742 registered Republicans, Independence and Green Party voters took the time to ballot across Putnam. Elections Commissioner Anthony Scannapieco called the state's third primary since January was very costly but had very poor participation.

 Earlier story, from midday Thursday:

On both sides of Putnam County, voters were sparse with pockets of activity.

Putnam Elections Commissioner Anthony Scannapieco returned to his office at the Board of Elections in Carmel Thursday afternoon and said turnout was light.

"I've just visited each polling place from Cold Spring to Carmel, and from Patterson to Putnam Valley, and the turnout is very, very, very light. Even in Southeast and Mahopac, where a local legislative race is taking place the turnout is abysmal,” he said.

Elections Commissioner Robert Bennett agreed.

Betsy Lampersburger of Carmel, a poll worker for many years, said voter response at her polling place was “ridiculously low. You can see that no one is knocking down the doors to get in.”

 By 1:30 p.m. only 11 people had  cast ballots in one of Carmel's largest voting districts. Polls will remain open until 9 p.m.

As of noon in Philipstown, voting stations had a dedicated group poll workers at the tables since 5:30 am; they hope to be finished approximately at 9:30 PM.

Voting in the morning was extremely light at the Garrison Fire House. There were eight people who cast their vote. Diana Swinburne, poll supervisor, said, “That included two of the poll workers.” At the Methodist Church in Cold Spring, things were a little zippier, as the poll workers reported that they were ready for the masses and as of noon, they had seen 40 come through the doors to cast their vote.

Both polling stations believed that things would pick up after the evening trains came in carrying the day’s commuters.  

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