TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– Though thousands of ballots are left to be counted, the results of Tuesday’s election are becoming clearer as vote counters in New York State prepare to start tallying absentee ballots on Nov. 10.

The only local election that has seen a victory declaration is for New York’s 23rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives, which was also the race with the highest profile. Congressman Tom Reed was favored in the race against Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano and took home 61.23 percent of the Election Day vote to Mitrano’s 34.78 percent, and while the margin may lessen as absentee ballots are counted, he held an event outside of his campaign headquarters in Corning last week to claim the win.

“We are truly honored to see so many people across the district come out to support us with their vote. Since I was first elected to be their voice in Washington, my priority has and will always be delivering for the people of the 23rd district,” said Reed, according to a press release. “As we look to continue combating COVID-19 and reigniting our economy, that fundamental commitment to service will continue to guide our work. We must now come together as Americans, regardless of party, and unite in our determination to work together to make this nation a more perfect union. We thank my opponent for a well-fought race.”

During a press call on Thursday, Mitrano said she would not be conceding until the absentee ballots are counted, and her campaign confirmed that was still her position as of Sunday. In Tompkins County alone, there are over 11,000 absentee ballots, with thousands more in the other 10 counties in the 23rd Congressional District. Those ballots are expected to skew heavily Democratic, though that is somewhat dependent on the district and county: in Steuben County, for instance, Democrats accounted for 2,776 of the absentee ballots returned, while Republicans made up 2,519. There were also 1,176 that were returned without party affiliation.

Others are taking a more measured approach than Reed, even those who are leading handily. In a campaign message posted to Twitter, Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles said she wouldn’t be making a public victory statement until the ballots were finalized, though she did signal confidence that she would prevail over Republican and Libertarian candidate Matthew McIntyre.

“With all my heart, I wanted to thank each and every one of your for helping me get across the finish line to become our next District 125 Assembly member,” Kelles said. “The election has not been officially called so I am not making a public statement, but we are tracking at 60 percent of the votes in an election year where absentee ballots are leaning heavily blue.”

McIntyre has not commented publicly in the wake of Election Day.

Similarly, while Sen. Tom O’Mara hasn’t officially declared victory, he did tell the Cornell Daily Sun that he had won the election and believed his lead from Election Day voting was too much for challenger Democrat Leslie Danks Burke to overcome. He leads their race by about 23,000 votes, holding a 22 percent or so advantage. Danks Burke, though, remained hopeful the day after the election.

“This election won’t be declared until every vote has been counted and every citizens’ voice has been heard,” Danks Burke said on election night, at a press conference outside of Pasta Vitto. “We will make sure that all those votes are counted.”

Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Democratic State Senate candidate Jim Barber conceded his race to Republican Peter Oberacker in the campaign to replace the retiring Sen. James Seward. Democrat Shauna O’Toole also acknowledged her defeat on Twitter, as she was beaten by incumbent Republican Pamela Helming in the 54th New York State Senate District race.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at