Outcome of Monroe library budget still delayed by challenges in race for 97th Assembly District

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    MONROE-The Monroe Free Library operating budget remains undeclared due to uncounted provisional and absentee ballots. These ballots have taken a back seat to those being challenged by Republican Annie Rabbit and Democrat Bonnie Kraham in their race for the 97th Assembly District. Library Director Marilyn McIntosh said Wednesday that Board of Elections Commissioner Sue Bahren advised her that the library ballots may not be counted until Friday or maybe Monday. "Everyone is calling to find out if we won," McIntosh said, "but I can't commit until the ballots are counted." She added that Monroe Town Supervisor Sandy Leonard had also inquired about the outcome because the town board votes Monday on its proposed 2005 budget. According to unofficial results from last week's election, 2,492 Monroe residents voted in favor of increasing the library budget by $83,000 to $922,500 annually, while 2,443 opposed it. That's a difference of 49 votes. According to Board of Elections Commissioner David Green, uncounted ballots for Monroe include 181 affidavits and 375 absentee ballots. The county uses the ‘Optiscan' system to read the paper ballots that "works like the machine used for lottery tickets by reading the marks," Green said. "We are hoping that they get to it (Proposition I) as soon as possible," McIntosh said. "We are keeping a positive outlook." When the polls closed a week ago Tuesday, Rabbitt lead Graham 21,022 to 20,212 in unofficial tallies to replace Howard Mills in the Assembly. Like the Monroe library proposition, absentee, provisional and military ballots will determine whether Rabbitt's 810 lead will hold. Mills ran for the U.S. Senate seat held - and re-won - by Charles Schumer.