Statement on the Unofficial Nature of Election Night Returns:
The preliminary Election “results” reported on Election Night are just that---preliminary. New York State Election Law requires a complete recanvass of all votes cast on Election Day and the counting of all valid absentee, affidavit, and military ballots before the Election Results can be certified.
New York State has one of the most meticulous recanvass procedures in the country. New York State Election Law requires all Boards of Elections, within 15 days of the election, to recanvass all votes cast in that election. The recanvass is conducted by bipartisan teams of Board employees. As an extra layer of oversight, representatives of the campaigns involved are notified of the recanvass schedule and invited to monitor the official recanvass and ensure its accuracy. The absentee, military, and affidavit ballots are then opened and tabulated after staff review. The campaigns are once again invited to monitor the opening and counting of these paper ballots (see NYS Election Law, Section 9-208 & 9-209).