Austin Graff has been elected to the Oceanside Sanitation District No. 7 board of commissioners, defeating his opponent Joe Cibellis in a hotly contested race for the seat of Ed Scharfberg who did not seek reelection.
In the final tally -- made on July 10 -- Graff garnered 587 votes, while Cibellis received 540. The victory came nearly three weeks after polls closed on June 21 as 187 written affidavits from voters who were not on the district’s voting rolls remained uncounted.
After certification by the Nassau County Board of Elections, it was determined that 43 of the affidavits were from unregistered voters, 23 were from people who were registered to a different address and three were from voters who had been designated as inactive by the board of elections.
Because of the discrepancies, the sanitation board opted to count 125 of the affidavits on July 10, leaving the envelopes containing ballots from unregistered voters sealed.
“I think the election process was run horribly,” said Cibellis -- who served as sanitation commissioner from 2008 to 2016 -- after conceding the race. “... there was no reason to have 187 affidavit ballots. As a board member I worked very hard to make sure this wouldn’t happen, and that’s the reason why I ran again.”
Graff was then sworn in a commissioner for a five-year term on the board. “I want to thank all the voters who voted for me I want to thank all the voters who didn’t vote for me,” he said, “and I hope to represent the district appropriately and properly and I look forward to the five years on the board.”