Elections officials have opened 12,008 of an estimated 30,000 absentee and affidavit ballots as the count continues at the Dutchess County Board of Elections.

Ballots continue to heavily favor the Democrats in every town, most especially in the race 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 and affidavit ballots to win.

As of Friday evening, Forman’s lead was down to 3,717 with unofficial totals showing his lead at 63,700 to 59,983. Segal won 65.3% of the votes on Friday, 3,336 to 1,776.

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. 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% of the remaining votes on mail-in and affidavit ballots in her race.

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