It has been a while since we checked in on New York’s 22nd congressional district. The latest development is that Republican Claudia Tenney is claiming she is up nearly 100 votes as counting of disputed ballots continues in Oneida County:
The ongoing process to determine a winner in the 22nd Congressional District race continued in Oneida County on Wednesday and Claudia Tenney says she gained 93 votes during the first day of the Oneida County Board of Election’s canvassing of 1,028 controversial affidavit ballots…
According to Claudia Tenney, a total of 173 ballots were gotten through by the end of the day as of 6:00 P.M., and she says 133 of the those ballots were in her favor and 40 were in Anthony Brindisi’s favor, meaning she says she picked up a total of 93 votes.
Tenney leads Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes in the race, so she says with those 93 added votes she is now up a total of 122 votes unofficially.
To fully appreciate what is going on here, we need to take a step back. Earlier this month it appeared that Tenney was ahead in the unofficial vote tally by 29 votes. However, Democrat Anthony Brindisi had assembled a team of six attorneys and there were 1,028 affidavit ballots yet to be dealt with in Oneida County. Brindisi’s camp was eager to have the judge count 69 of those votes.
But last week Judge DelConte surprised both sides and ruled that Oneida county should canvas all of those disputed ballots. The judge noted in his ruling that it was an outcome neither candidate had asked for:
“Both candidates press this Court to disregard either some, or all, of the potentially valid ballots because it is strategically advantageous for them in this election,” he wrote. “…Both of these arguments ignore the fact that this problem only exists because…the Oneida County Board of Elections failed to comply with (election law) and review its records.”
Judge DelConte was right about neither camp wanting this. The Brindisi camp asked an appellate judge to temporarily halt the counting of those ballots. But after a 10 minute hearing Monday morning, the appellate judge said no.
An appellate judge today allowed a review to continue of more than 1,000 affidavit ballots cast in the 22nd Congressional District race, despite an appeal by Democrat Anthony Brindisi to stop it.
The hearing took about 10 minutes today before appellate division Justice Patrick NeMoyer and attorneys for candidates Brindisi and Republican Claudia Tenney…
Brindisi’s attorneys are asking DelConte to count just 69 ballots from those voters, most of which are from Democrats. They argued in the appeal that DelConte does not have the jurisdiction to order Oneida County to fix its mistake and that a review of these ballots would take too much time and resources nearly three months after Election Day.
Tenney’s attorneys don’t think the judge should count the 69 ballots challenged by Brindisi, because they argued those voters are not registered and that the judge doesn’t have the ability to retroactively register them. Tenney currently leads by 29 votes.
So both sides are playing to win but what’s interesting is that up until this week, the Democrats have been loudly arguing that it’s important that every vote be counted. They have mostly been behind in this race so counting more votes appealed to them. But when Judge DelConte announces you know what, we should count these 1,028 votes from people who weren’t registered only because the DMV failed to register them suddenly the Democrats are singing a different tune. Now counting the votes takes too long and is too much of a hassle. Their commitment to counting every vote seems a bit situational.
The results of the ballot counting in Oneida County were originally supposed to be returned to Judge DelConte Wednesday but that got delayed until Friday. So what Claudia Tenney is claiming above is essentially a leak of a partial count, which doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. We’ve seen this before in this saga as each camp gets daily updates and whoever is winning takes it to the media.
We should have a big change in the totals sometime tomorrow but all of that is still unofficial. Since the Brindisi camp has already appealed there’s little doubt this will be delayed, possibly for several more weeks.