Earlier this week we learned that a recanvas of votes in three counties had left Republican Claudia Tenney with an unofficial lead of 19 votes. However, Oneida County had informed Judge DelConte, who is overseeing this circus, that they wouldn’t have their recanvas done before Christmas. But in the past two days, Oneida County has been walking through various challenged ballots and as a result the race is now down to 3-5 votes, though Anthony Brinidisi’s sttorney wouldn’t say which candidate currently has the lead.
Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and Claudia Tenney (R) are separated by three to five votes, according to an update in court from one of Brindisi’s attorneys.
My guess is Brindisi’s camp would have claimed the lead if they had it so it’s probably still Tenney in the lead. In any case, only about a third of the contested ballots from Oneida County have been reviewed so far. Not all of the votes they review are being counted and none will be added to the official count until after this process is done.
Oneida County officials and campaign representatives on Monday reviewed 253 contested affidavit ballots. Of them, 89 or 90 ballots were counted, attorneys said.
Today, they reviewed 436 ballots, though it hadn’t yet been determined at about 5 p.m. Tuesday how many would be added to the count.
In addition to the 689 ballots reviewed today and yesterday, 1,797 have yet to be reviewed.
It’s worth noting that Tenney, the Republican, won Oneida County narrowly by 1.6 percent. But with almost 100,000 votes cast in this county, the remaining 1,791 ballots could slightly favor one candidate or the other. In a race this close that’s all it will take is a tiny edge in either direction.
Judge DelConte expects to finish the recanvas of ballots from Oneida County by next week. Only then will he make a decision about which ballots will become part of the official count and which will not. I think the point is to apply a consistent standard across all counties. CNY Central has a bit more on what’s happening inside the courtroom.
In Madison County, at least 90 absentee ballots were challenged by Tenney’s team because the timestamp from the BOE marked one day after the Nov. 3rd deadline. Madison’s election commissioner swore under oath saying those ballots arrived on time on Nov. 3, but they marked them one day late. Delconte asked her, “Are you telling me those timestamps on those ballots aren’t correct?” Mary Egger replied, “Yes, sir.” The judge is withholding his ruling on almost every ballot.
Tenney won Madison County by 4, so counting those ballots would likely help her. Today the judge and the attorneys will be looking at ballots from Chenango and Broome counties. Tenney won the former and Brindisi won the latter.
The next Congress officially starts on January 3rd and it looks like NY-22 will not have a certified winner by then. But who knows. There have been a lot of surprises in this race so far. Maybe one of the candidates will still surprise us all and concede the race.