ALBANY, NY. The two candidates for New York’s 22nd Congressional District are hundreds of ballots away to find out which of them will join the 117th Congress.
A state court on Monday began reviewing at least 800 outstanding ballots that were challenged by either Democratic MP Anthony Brindisi or his Republican opponent Claudia Tenney. The district is now without a representative until the census is complete. It’s the only remaining house race in the country that doesn’t have a winner in the new Congress.
How it started: In the two months since November 3, the margin continued to hover by dozens of votes. After several procedural Snafus were discovered, a judge asked the eight district electoral boards to fix tabulation errors and resubmit the initial censuses.
How it is going: The undisputed number of votes – which included hundreds of affidavits – was largely finalized late last month, and Tenney issued a statement Dec. 29 declaring a 27-vote lead.
“Now that every uncontested ballot has been counted twice, we’re still at the top,” she said. “This process uncovered a very flawed electoral system that needs to be fixed.” We remain confident that once the contested ballots are reviewed by the court and the facts applied correctly according to the law, I will be declared winner, certified, seated, and directed to Congress to serve all people in New York’s 22nd District . “
That lead later changed to 29 votes, with the unofficial totals being 155,862 to 155,833.
Brindisi’s campaign says his team expects the numbers to continue to fluctuate if Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte reviews the controversial ballot papers, but Brindisi also expects them to emerge victorious. Spokesman Luke Jackson said the ballots weren’t counted twice as Tenney claimed in her statement – the process aims to confirm an initial record and both campaigns have shown they are ready to call for a recount.
“This seat in Congress belongs to New York voters and they need to have their voices heard,” Jackson said in a statement. “Anthony Brindisi has worked from day one to correct the errors in the administration of this election and to ensure that every legitimate vote is accurately counted. Hundreds of ballots remain to be determined and as these ballots will be considered in the coming weeks , the balance is taken into account in this choice. ” continue to change. “