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Cunningham wins Bethlehem WFP line

The final count in the Bethlehem supervisor's Working Families Party primary race is Sam Messina 11, Jack Cunningham 15.

Absentee ballots that had been kept sealed by legal challenge were opened this afternoon, after the state Court of Appeals declined to consider the case.

The outcome means the absentee ballots will be mailed out tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 30, and voting machines can be programmed, said Albany County Democratic Election Commissioner Matthew Clyne. It's the last ballot the Board of Elections has to finalize.

Approximately 540 of Bethlehem's 23,156 voters applied for absentee ballots, said Clyne, and those residing in town should receive their ballots Saturday. For those overseas, however, the odds they will be able to postmark their ballots by the cutoffmidnight Monday, Nov. 2are slim.

"When you have court challenges, they have to run their course," said Clyne, who is one of the parties named in Messina's lawsuit. "I think most of the absentee ballots will get sent out."

Clyne said he does not anticipate trouble at polling locations because of the delay.

Messina's lawsuit had challenged the legitimacy of 11 absentee ballots cast in the primary, questioning whether the identities of the voters were confirmed and if their ballot applications were legal. A judge had found in his favor, but an appeals court reversed that decision.

Messina will appear on the Republican and Conservative lines, and Cunningham will appear on the Democrat and Independent lines.

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