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Board of Elections set for final ballot count in 63rd Senate District

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Erie County Board of Elections workers are preparing for the final ballot count in the New York State 63rd Senate race which remains undecided even as more ballots come in.

On Primary Night, the race between State Senator Tim Kennedy and County Legislature Chair Betty Jean Grant seesawed back and forth, winding up with Kennedy unofficially 271 votes ahead.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward says the current margin is 91 votes and there are more than 1,200 votes to be counted.

Under federal law to make sure military ballots are counted, the Board of Elections has to wait until after Thursday to count those ballots, in effect delaying the count.

Ward says the count starts on Friday.

"What's been counted so far is simply the votes that were cast on the machines.  All the other categories of ballots have yet to be counted.  They are in the process of being assembled, sorted and in some cases worked on to prepare for the final canvass which will take place beginning this Friday at 1 p.m.," said Ward.

With the race so close, the result could end up in court.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.