When will absentee ballots be counted?

The NYC Board of Elections will begin counting absentee ballots on Nov. 15.
Photo by Mark Hallum

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’ victor in the mayor’s race, and Park Slope Councilmember Brad Lander’s elevation to the comptroller’s office, have already been decided, as their election day margins were overwhelming. 

But in southern Brooklyn, the yet-to-be-counted votes are monumentally important to races like the 43rd Council District in Bay Ridge, where incumbent Democrat Justin Brannan slightly trails Republican challenger Brian Fox, with over 1,500 Democratic absentee ballots to be counted and 214 Republican ballots unopened. 

Both campaigns have expressed optimism that the count will go in their favor. 

“We are confident 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 Daniel de Groot. 

“We feel very strong, you know we’ve got some absentee and some military ballots we campaign hard for them as well, and we expect to win them as they say the paper usually breaks the way of the election,” said Fox campaign spokesman Liam McCabe. 

Likewise, the race for the 47th District, encompassing parts of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, will also hinge on counting all absentees before being called.

Democrat Ari Kagan currently leads Republican Mark Szuszkiewicz 51 to 49 percent — by a margin of just under 300 votes. There are over 600 ballots for registered democrats yet to be opened in that race, and just over 100 ballots for registered republicans.