The Dutchess County Board of Elections opened 4,700 more absentee and affidavit ballots on Thursday, the second day of counting, according to a report from the Board of Elections provided to the Hudson Valley Observer.

Ballots continue to heavily favor the Democrat in the only race considered in question, between incumbent Dutchess County Court Judge Peter Forman, a Republican, and the challenger Jessica Segal, a Democrat.

After in-person voting, Segal found herself 7,385 votes behind, needing to win just over 62% of the estimated 30,000 absentee ballots to win.

As of Thursday evening, Forman’s lead had shrunk by 2,108 votes to 5,277. Segal won 67.4% of the votes counted today and has won 67.5% of the votes so far.

Nationwide, mail-in ballots have leaned decisively left as more Democrats voted by mail while Republicans preferred to vote in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Dutchess County, Democrats outnumbered Republicans two-to-one among the more than 30,000 absentee ballots returned.

The bluest areas of the county still remain to be counted which should further benefit Segal. Today, all ballots from Dover, LaGrange, Milan, North East and Pine Plains were completed along with parts of East Fishkill and Hyde Park. Municipalities with higher Democratic registrations like Beacon, the City of Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck and Red Hook remain uncounted.

Based on an ongoing Hudson Valley Observer analysis of the ballot data, Segal will only need to win about 61.7% of the remaining mail-in ballots in her race.

Other Democrats also gained ground including President-elect Joseph R. Biden, who trailed in Dutchess after in-person voting by 1,941 votes but has now gained nearly 3,000 votes and is projected to win Dutchess County over President Donald J. Trump by a significant margin after all the votes are counted.

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