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An arduous and at times tense election night count on Tuesday bled into Wednesday morning, and it took until around 1:30 a.m. for Joseph McLoughlin and his running mate, Gina Arresta, to be declared victors in the race for Southampton Village Board.
A final, uncertified tally showed that Mr. McLoughlin amassed 938 votes, and Ms. Arresta garnered 868 votes. Community Party candidates Kimberly Allan and Zach Epley completed the race with 663 and 610 votes, respectively.
The conclusion of a contentious campaign saw unprecedented voter turnout. Stopping by the Southampton Cultural Center to observe the proceedings, outgoing Deputy Mayor Rich Yastrzemski took note of the numbers. An estimated 1,200 residents voted in person at the polls. Combined with 500 absentee ballots, that brought the total of ballots cast in the election to 1,700, out of about 3,000 registered voters in the village. The deputy mayor said, by his count , there were 2,800 registered voters in the village.
“You’re talking about a 50-, 60-percent turnout,” he said. “That’s crazy. I don’t know if there have ever been numbers like this.” He noted that both camps had undertaken energetic efforts to register new voters.
When the polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Mr. McLoughlin and Ms. Arresta boasted healthy leads in results tabulated from the voting machines, with some 500 absentee ballots yet to be counted. Mr. McLoughlin was the top vote-getter, with 681 votes. Ms. Arresta, was the second-highest vote-getter, with 615 votes. Ms. Allan garnered 514 votes, and Mr. Epley received 466.
“The voters have spoken,” Ms. Allan said, sensing pending defeat as Tuesday night turned to Wednesday morning. “We wish the new board success and the ability to fulfill their promises.” [more]