Contested NY-22 election nears resolution, with the Republican leading by 122 votes

Contested NY-22 election nears resolution, with the
Republican leading by 122 votes 1

Though today is Feb. 1, 2021, the 2020 U.S. election has yet to be fully resolved, as the race in New York’s 22nd Congressional District remains unresolved.

Republican Claudia Tenney currently holds a 122-vote lead over Democratic candidate Anthony Brindisi after state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte on Friday ruled which votes should be counted and which should be rejected in the disputed race, WSYR-TV reports.

Prior to Friday’s ruling, Tenney led Brindisi by only 29 votes. But the Brindisi campaign had argued in court that 69 ballots from Oneida County that were not counted should have been. These ballots were from voters who registered to vote with the DMV by the deadline to do so, but did not appear in records on Election Day, requiring them to fill out an affidavit ballot. The Oneida County Board of Elections did not process these registrations, and the votes were not counted.

The Brindisi campaign wanted only 69 ballots to be counted; however, state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte ordered every ballot that was rejected on these grounds to be counted, not just the ones Brindisi’s campaign brought forward. The result was 139 new votes counted for Brindisi and 232 new votes for Tenney, expanding Tenney’s lead to 122 votes.

Justice DelConte also ruled Friday that hundreds of affidavit/provisional ballots the Brindisi campaign wants counted should not be considered. These discounted votes include 128 ballots from voters who dropped ballots off at the wrong polling place, 20 ballots cast in the wrong county, and 85 ballots cast by so-called “purged voters,” people who were previously registered to vote but were inactive voters for so long that they were removed from registration lists.

“Despite the severity of the transgressions that have been uncovered in this proceeding, including multiple violations of state and federal Election Law, this Court has no authority to grant any other relief,” DelConte wrote in his opinion.

On Monday, local boards of elections from the 22nd District returned to court to make their final vote counts official before certifying the results of the election on Tuesday. The Brindisi campaign, however, has vowed to appeal the state Supreme Court decision (in New York, the Supreme Courts are appellate courts and the Court of Appeals is the state’s highest court).

“The integrity, accuracy, and efficiency of this process has always been the Brindisi campaign’s priority. With ballots still to be counted as part of the initial count and pending appeals from both parties, it is important not to rush to judgment. We are hopeful that once all the legal ballots are counted, Anthony will be certified the winner,” a spokesman for the Brindisi campaign said Friday night.

The Democratic campaign filed paperwork Monday to delay the court-ordered certification of the vote.

“Substantial errors and irregularities in the conduct of the election have come to light. As these proceedings have continued, that evidence has only mounted. … As a result, a hand audit is warranted under New York law and should be immediately ordered,” the campaign said in court documents.

WSYR-TV however reported that Tenney’s lead is likely insurmountable.

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