• Rich Klein

ABSENTEE BALLOT COUNT BEGINS TUESDAY TO DETERMINE SUPERVISOR RACES IN THOMPSON, HIGHLAND & FALLSBURG

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

Absentee ballots from the November 2 general elections in Sullivan County will be counted beginning on Tuesday, November 16 to determine the official results in three town supervisor races.


It's expected that the count will take a few days and that official results will be posted on the Board of Elections website by the end of November or early December.


In Town of Thompson, Democrat Supervisor Bill Rieber, the incumbent, leads Republican challenger Scott Mace by 76 votes.


Mace, who has served as a Thompson council member for a little more than a decade, is facing two felonies and a misdemeanor after he was arrested by New York State Police in May, as previously reported by The SullivanTimes.

But it's unclear at press time where Mace's case will be heard. The two Town of Thompson judges, in May, had to recuse themselves as did Town of Mamakating Judge Terrence Mullen, who did so in early October.


In the Town of Highland, just 25 votes separate Republican Donald Haas, the incumbent supervisor, and Democratic challenger John Pizzolato.





In the Town of Fallsburg, Democrat Supervisor Steve Vegliante, the incumbent who until recently was the chair of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee, leads challenger Katherine Rappaport by 406 votes.


But Rappaport is expected to gain on Vegliante during the counting process after she campaigned heavily for Orthodox Jewish votes with the help of Sheriff Michael Schiff (who endorsed her) and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty.


If a New York State resident has two residences, that person can choose either location as a primary residence for voting purposes.


"A person with two residences may choose one to which she has legitimate, significant and continuing attachments as her residence for purposes of the Election Law," according to the New York State Board of Elections.

Aside from advertisements placed in Orthodox Jewish newspapers downstate, much of Rappaport's financial support came from the religious Jewish communities of Brooklyn, Cedarhurst (Long Island) and Monsey (Rockland County). The names of many of her contributors filed with the New York State Board of Elections are also long-time active contributors to other Republican candidates in Sullivan, including Schiff, who won re-election on November 2 after running unopposed.


Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story omitted the Town of Highland supervisor race that is now included in the story.


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