N.Y. Congressional Race Up in the Air after 55 Uncounted Ballots Found

Counting mail-in ballots in Chester County, Pa., November 4, 2020. (Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters)

A tight race for a congressional seat in upstate New York is being further complicated by the discovery of 55 uncounted ballots, a Chenango County attorney announced on Tuesday.

In New York’s 22nd Congressional District Republican Claudia Tenney led Democratic Representative Anthony Brindisi by just 12 votes on Monday, which should have been the last day for election officials to report vote totals in the district.

On Tuesday, Chenango County Attorney Alan Gordon told Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte about the newly discovered ballots, which were cast during New York’s early voting period in the 22nd Congressional District.

“Those ballots were apparently mislaid and never counted,” Gordon wrote.

“I have advised our Board of Elections to not open any of those ballots and to secure them in their offices,” he said.

Eleven of the 55 ballots appear to be from unregistered voters, while the remaining 44 could undo Tenney’s lead. However, the New York Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on challenges that have been made against over 2,000 other absentee and affidavit ballots in the race.

Chenango County Elections Commissioner Carol Franklin told she did not know why the votes had not been counted.

“My guess is they came in early and they were put aside and mislaid,” Franklin said. “I would hope that we could open them tomorrow with representatives present from each campaign.”

The race has taken a number of twist and turns since Election Night, when Tenney initially led by 29,000 votes before mail-in votes were counted, eliminating her lead. Last week, Brindisi picked up a double-digit lead that later disappeared after two counties said they had made tabulation errors.

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