Herkimer, N.Y. - Herkimer County Board of Election officials told News Channel 2 on Thursday they will begin counting absentee ballots on July 7th.
Herkimer County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Kim Tranter says guidelines from the State Board of Elections dictates when the county can begin counting the absentee ballots.
Those absentee ballots will decide the race for Herkimer County Family Court Judge.
That race is between Mark Rose and Thad Luke, both running under the Republican and Conservative lines.
Rose is a Little Falls City Court Judge.
Luke is a court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court.
Luke is in the lead on the Republican line 1,476 to 1,383, so less than 100 votes separate the two with 2,615 possible absentee ballots yet to be counted.
Election officials say so far 1,775 out of the possible 2,615 Republican absentee ballots have been returned and 35 out of the 44 Conservative absentee ballots that were sent out have been returned.
Amongst conservatives, only 68 people voted in Herkimer County and Rose leads Luke 39 to 29.
If the leads stay this way after all absentees are counted, the two would face off again in November, one on the Republican line and one on the Conservative line.
If either candidate takes both lines after the absentee ballot count, then that candidate would become the Herkimer County Family Court Judge because there is no Democrat running.
Current Herkimer County Family Court Judge John Brennan did not run for re-election.