Do we have a winner in NY-22 yet? Nope

Eight days ago, John warned us that the soonest we might know the outcome of the last uncalled congressional race from 2020 would be today. Well, that didn’t happen. As of the last count, Republican challenger Claudia Tenney (who held the seat in 2017 and 2018) is leading Democratic incumbent Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes. But now, Oswego County Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte has ruled that more than 1,000 affidavit ballots from Oneida county have to be sent back to the county election board to be canvassed yet again. The issue this time has to do with voter registration requests that either arrived late or weren’t processed in time to make the cutoff. Of course, Oneida county has screwed up the processing of the mail-in ballots so badly that nobody has a handle on what’s really going on at this point. (NY Post)

DelConte ruled that affidavit ballots in Oneida County — the largest county in New York’s 22nd congressional district — are to be sent back to its election board and canvassed.

The judge, in his ruling, cited the Oneida County Board of Elections’ failure to process over 2,400 “timely-filed voter registrations” from people who registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

DelConte wants the Board to determine how many of the county’s 1,028 rejected affidavit ballots were cast by those voters whose registrations were not processed, thus subsequently denied.

Back during the early voting period, the computer systems in Oneida County, for both the Board of Elections and the DMV, went down repeatedly. This caused both delays and some loss of data. As a result, some people who went to the DMV to register may not have had their registrations processed before the deadline, but nobody is entirely sure. What’s clear is that this new order will give county officials the opportunity to once again “find” up to a thousand more ballots to count while the candidates are currently separated by less than 30 votes.

This issue is really the least of Oneida County’s problems. As we learned last month, the county was dealing with a mountain of mail-in ballots like they’d never seen before. Many of the ballots were disputed, challenged, or otherwise set aside. The 21st-century solution they implemented to keep track of everything was to literally put sticky notes on them. To everyone’s great surprise (not), some of the sticky notes eventually fell off. The end result was that county election officials could not tell the judge whether any or all of the disputed ballots had already been counted once.

In other words, any of those ballots that wound up being accepted may have been counted twice. So whatever number they produce by the judge’s deadline of next Wednesday could still introduce an error of up to 2,000 votes in either direction. When asked by the judge if there was any way to double-check and ensure that the votes hadn’t already been counted, the county commissioner simply said, “You can’t.”

Keep in mind that this is the same race where election officials have already confirmed that they received at least three ballots from dead people. (And those are just the ones they managed to catch.) Two people have already been charged with felony voter fraud, though I am regularly assured by the media that such things never happen.

The bottom line is that this race is going to be decided by a relative handful of votes. No matter who is eventually declared the winner, be it Tenney or Brindisi, there’s no reason for anyone to vouch for their legitimacy as a sworn member of Congress. We’re never going to know who really won and that situation is upon us because of the massive number of mail-in ballots that were allowed. Unless someone finds the money and expertise to drag this voting system kicking and screaming into the 21st century, massive mail-in voting must not be allowed in the future.