On Election Night, Democratic nominee India Walton received about 41% of the votes in the Buffalo mayoral race while the rest were for a write-in.
On Wednesday, the Erie County Board of Elections begins counting those ballots to see just how many people wrote down Byron Brown.
Counting those write-in votes, as well as any absentee and affidavit ballots, starts now and, although Brown has already declared victory over Walton, the board may not be able to confirm that until sometime next week.
The process will be similar to the presidential election, where voters have to wait for anything official.
Erie County Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr says the board may have as many as 10 bipartisan teams counting ballots.
Mohr says he expects the process of counting write-ins to go more slowly at the beginning and speed up as staff and observers become more familiar with the process. And poll workers are well aware there are more than 34,000 write-in ballots that will need to be hand counted.
“It will be a tedious process, where we go through each and every ballot that was cast in the city of Buffalo,” Mohr said. “Where there’s a write-in, we’ll cast. We’ll determine who that write-in was for and allocate it to the candidate who the voter intended.”
Monday was the last day the board could receive absentees that were mailed by Election Day and while the vote count starts Wednesday, they have until November 27 to be counted.