New York: Oneida County elections commissioners resign after NY-22 mistakes | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

Oneida County’s two elections commissioners have decided to resign from their jobs amid mounting pressure over a series of mistakes in the 22nd Congressional District election. Carolanne Cardone, the Democratic elections commissioner, submitted her resignation on Tuesday, Oneida County Legislature Chairman Gerald Fiorini said today. Rose Grimaldi, the Republican elections commissioner, plans to submit her resignation on Wednesday, Fiorini said. Both commissioners received a letter this week requesting their resignations from the state Board of Elections in Albany. Otherwise, the state board would have asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fire them, Fiorini told syracuse.com. Cardone and Grimaldi did not respond to requests for comment. Former Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, has called for an independent investigation of the Oneida County Board of Elections after a series of errors and other problems were exposed during a three-month legal battle over dispute ballots in the election. Brindisi conceded to Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, last week, saying he didn’t want to continue a months-long battle that could further divide the community. Brindisi and voting rights advocates were outraged after Oneida County election clerks revealed in court that they failed to process more than 2,400 applications from new voters who had properly registered at the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Full Article: Oneida County elections commissioners resign after NY-22 mistakes – syracuse.com

New York: Claudia Tenney certified winner, Anthony Brindisi concedes | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

More than three months after Election Day, the race in New York’s 22nd Congressional District is over.  A little more than two hours after the state Board of Elections certified Republican Claudia Tenney as the winner by 109 votes, Democrat Anthony Brindisi conceded the race in a statement. The double announcements Monday brought an abrupt end to the last contested House of Representatives race in the nation.  “Today I congratulated Claudia Tenney and offered to make the transition process as smooth as possible on behalf of our community,” Brindisi said. “I hope that she will be a Representative for all the people of this district, not just those that agree with her point of view, and work with members of both parties to heal the deep divisions that exist in our Country.”

Full Article: NY-22: Claudia Tenney certified winner, Anthony Brindisi concedes

New York: Republican Tenney leads in last undecided US House race | Marina Villeneuve/Associated Press

Former U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney appeared on the verge of recapturing her old seat in Congress as election officials finished counting ballots Monday in the nation’s last undecided U.S. House race. Tenney, a central New York Republican, began the day with a 122-vote lead over U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, according to unofficial vote totals from both campaigns. Brindisi was the Democrat who ousted Tenney from office in 2018. A last round of ballot counting done before a state judge Monday only involved 54 ballots — not enough to shake Tenney’s small lead. Still, the final, official tally may yet be days away. Brindisi still has legal challenges pending with a state appeals court. By Monday evening, the judge had paused the certification of results in one county, Oneida, a step initially planned for Tuesday. Oswego County Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte said he wanted to to give lawyers for the campaigns more time to weigh in on what would happen if Tenney were declared the winner and sworn in, only to have an appeals court reverse the results later. The order followed an hourslong court session in which elections officials and campaign lawyers huddled around a square table in the Oswego County Courthouse as 54 ballots were counted. Mask-wearing lawyers for the candidates peered at the ballots and took notes as an official opened up ballots and held them up for all to see.

Full Article: Republican Tenney leads in last undecided US House race

New York: Decision awaited on contested ballots in Brindisi/Tenney race | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The final ruling from state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte in the judicial review of contested ballots in New York’s 22nd Congressional District will come today. DelConte said his order, expected in the afternoon, will require certain affidavit and absentee envelopes to be opened and the ballots inside cast and canvassed. The final canvass will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1.  The canvass will take place in the Oswego County Courthouse, and six of the counties in the congressional district will take part. Campaign representatives and election officials will appear for, in order, Oswego, Madison, Cortland, Herkimer, Chenango, Broome and Oneida counties, in half-hour increments. Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi can have up to three representatives at the canvasses. Tenney leads Brindisi by 29 votes at the latest unofficial tally. Any new challenges to the rulings of the election commissioners on Feb. 1 will be ruled on by DelConte in open court. The court proceedings will be streamed at viewing terminals in the Oswego, Oneida and Onondaga county courthouses. Final oral arguments were presented Jan. 22 after attorneys for both campaigns filed legal briefs Jan. 20. Approximately 1,100 contested ballots will fall under DelConte’s final decision, while more than 1,000 affidavit ballots are being canvassed by the Oneida County Board of Elections after 2,418 unprocessed online voter registration applications, submitted before the state deadline, were discovered.

Full Article: ABrindisi Tenney NY-22: Judge expected to rule on final ballots today

New York: Brindisi, Tenney campaigns lay out arguments on what ballots to count | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The legal teams for both candidates in the race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District are preparing for final oral arguments in state Supreme Court on Friday.  Those preparations were detailed in legal briefs filed Wednesday, which provide depth and legal backing to arguments already presented during the ballot-by-ballot judicial review by state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte. Republican Claudia Tenney of New Hartford leads Democrat Anthony Brindisi of Utica by 29 votes in the latest unofficial results. The race is a rematch of the 2018 election, which Brindisi won by less than 4,500 votes.  An order from DelConte on Wednesday will require the Oneida County Board of Elections to correct errors in its canvass of affidavit ballots connected to 2,418 unprocessed online voter registration forms. The error correction and update tallies from Oneida County are due Wednesday, Jan. 27.  On Thursday, Brindisi’s legal team reiterated its stance the court is limited to only reviewing the contested affidavit ballots based on registration and requested a stay on the order to canvass all of the affidavit ballots again. The Brindisi campaign objected to 60 affidavit ballots on the basis of registration, which were described as mostly young people and Democrats during court proceedings.  

Full Article: Brindisi Tenney NY22: Candidates lay out final legal arguments

New York: Judge orders Oneida County to review 1,000+ rejected ballots in Brindisi-Tenney race | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte has ordered the Oneida County Board of Elections to go through more than 1,000 ballots in the 22nd Congressional District race, more than 70 days after the election was held. It’s the latest turn and the latest delay in the last undecided Congressional race in the country. It’s an incredibly close race: Republican Claudia Tenney is ahead of Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes of 311,695 votes cast for the two candidates. It comes after the discovery two weeks ago that Oneida County’s elections board failed to process 2,418 voter registration forms from voters who applied on time via the Department of Motor Vehicles. Those voters would have been told they weren’t registered when they arrived at the polling place. Hundreds of them likely walked away without voting, and many others went on to file affidavit ballots that were also not counted. There are 1,028 rejected affidavit ballots in Oneida County that could be from voters who applied on time via the DMV, according to DelConte’s ruling. He’s ordered the county elections staff to review all of them to determine how many fit in that category.

Full Article: Judge orders Oneida County to review 1,000+ rejected ballots in Brindisi-Tenney race – syracuse.com

New York’s 22nd District Congressional race may come down to DMV voter registrations | Rome Daily Sentinel

Who will represent the 22nd Congressional District in Washington may come down to whether nearly 70 people who filled out a voter registration form through the Department of Motor Vehicles were really registered to vote. The legal teams representing Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi have filed briefs with state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte outlining how they believe he should rule on the paper ballots filled out by more than 60 voters. Brindisi’s filings mention 69 such voters and Tenney’s 64. It emerged during previous hearings in the court review of the ballot counting that Oneida County election commissioners did not include those ballots because they considered the voters not registered on time. Commissioners and their deputies said they received registration applications but did not process them as they were overwhelmed with a flood of absentee ballot requests during the COVID-19 pandemic, carrying out recent changes in the law regarding registration, and preparing for the first major general election with 10 days of early voting at multiple polling sites, as well as preparing for Election Day. Whether they should have may decide whether Tenney’s lead of 29 votes in unofficial tallies holds up. DelConte heard oral arguments Friday, and set Wednesday as the deadline to file more briefs, with final arguments two days later, all in Oswego, where he is based. The issue largely deals with provisional, or affidavit, ballots that people who are not allowed to vote normally may fill out if they are told at the polls that their names are not in the official poll books, or lists of registered voters at a polling place.

Full Article: NY-22 may come down to DMV voter registrations | Rome Daily Sentinel

New York lawmakers join advocates in calling on Board of Elections to reject troubled ExpressVote XL touchscreen voting machines | Michael Gartland and Denis Slattery/New York Daily News

The State Board of Elections is slated to vote Thursday on new touchscreen voting machines that advocates and lawmakers say are known for undercounting and can’t handle the city’s soon-to-be-implemented ranked-choice voting system. A coalition of legislators is calling on the board to vote against using the Express Vote XL from Election Software & Systems, arguing that they’re too expensive and prone to trouble. “New York should stick with the gold standard — voter marked paper ballots which voters themselves place in a scanner,” the lawmakers wrote to the board Wednesday. “As lawmakers, we have worked tirelessly to reform New York’s election laws — this would be a huge step backwards.” … Susan Greenhalgh, senior advisor on election security with advocacy group Free Speech For People, said there are major concerns regarding safety since ES&S still uses Windows 7 as its operating software despite vowing to upgrade the machines. “A year and a half later, they are still hawking Windows 7 systems, which demonstrates a blatant disregard for the most rudimentary cybersecurity principles. This should be disqualifying in itself,” Greenhalgh said.

Full Article: New York lawmakers says hold off on troubled voting machines – New York Daily News

New York: What’s next in Brindisi-Tenney House race? Appeals, recount, could delay decision for months | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

The 700,000 people who live in New York’s 22nd Congressional District should prepare to be without a representative in Washington for the foreseeable future as an epic battle unfolds for the undecided House election. The post-election dispute between Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney is likely to go on for months, history suggests, involving legal appeals in multiple courts and high-powered lawyers arguing over the fate of more than 2,000 disputed ballots. The battle could also move to a new frontier, with the House of Representatives ordering a full hand recount of all 318,000 ballots cast in the election. Two months after the Nov. 3 election, the House seat is the only one out of 435 where the winner has not been decided. For now, the fate of the 22nd District seat is in the hands of state Supreme Court Justice Scott J. DelConte in Oswego County. Delconte is not expected to rule on the validity of the disputed ballots for at least another week. He has been hearing the case since the day after the election. Tenney’s lawyers gave the first hint of the long fight ahead on Friday. A legal notice from her campaign preserved her right to appeal one of DelConte’s earliest rulings in the case. The appeal would be heard by the state Appellate Division’s Fourth Department in Rochester.

Full Article: What’s next in Brindisi-Tenney House race? Appeals, recount, could delay decision for months – syracuse.com

New York: At least 63 voters who did everything right could see votes nixed in Brindisi-Tenney race | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

At least 63 voters who met every obligation to legally vote in the hotly contested 22nd Congressional District race could still see their votes tossed because of a month-long delay in processing their applications, according to testimony in court today. Democrat Anthony Brindisi currently trails Republican Claudia Tenney by 29 votes in the last undecided House race in the country. Attorneys for both candidates are fighting for every vote in the race in a court battle over which State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte is presiding. The 63 voters registered by Oct. 9, the state voting registration deadline, to vote in Oneida County. When they showed up at the polling place, however, their application had not yet been processed, leaving them unregistered. They were allowed to vote by affidavit ballot, and that ballot was ultimately rejected for lack of registration, according to testimony in court. Brindisi’s attorneys are asking DelConte to count the ballots on the basis that the voters should not be deprived their right to vote based on the delay, which wasn’t their fault. Tenney’s attorneys, however, argue that it is logistically not possible to identify a voter who arrives at the polling place who is not registered. There is no way to match a voter’s signature with their registration record, for example, as a way to determine a voter is eligible. The voters were still not processed as registered voters even after the election. DelConte, the judge, said both sides had valid points, and described the issue as one that could determine the winner in a case now separated by a lead of .009%. In addition to this issue, DelConte will have to rule on several other issues that affected dozens or hundreds of contested ballots.

Full Article: At least 63 voters who did everything right could see votes nixed in Brindisi-Tenney race – syracuse.com

New York: Judicial review finish line in sight for Tenney, Brindisi race | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The final evidentiary hearing in the judicial review in the race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District is expected Friday, wrapping up a portion of the proceedings begun last November. Preliminary results show Republican Claudia Tenney leading Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes. The race is a rematch of 2018, when Brindisi unseated one-term incumbent Tenney by less than 4,500 votes. The ballot-by-ballot process to review objections from both campaigns started Nov. 23 in Oswego County Supreme Court. The proceedings were put on hold twice since, once to give county boards of elections time to correct errors and again for the court’s December recess. During the hearing Thursday, state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte moved quickly through more than 200 ballots. There are about 100 ballots from Oneida County, the final county in the district to be reviewed, left for Friday. While many of the issues with ballots were discussed in previous hearings, DelConte spent much of the day trying to suss out details on affidavit ballots cast by Oneida County residents who had applied to register to vote. The voters, who submitted online forms through the state Department of Motor Vehicles website, had applied before the Oct. 9 deadline, but were not included in voter rolls on Election Day, prompting them to cast affidavit ballots.

Full Article: Tenney-Brindisi NY22: Final evidentiary hearing set for Friday

New York: New Congress begins without NY-22 House member or election results | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

The latest session of Congress began Sunday, and New York’s 22nd Congressional District has no representation. The winner of the nation’s last House of Representatives race remains undecided, with Republican Claudia Tenney leading Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 29 votes. The judicial review intended to resolve hundreds of contested ballots, which began Nov. 23, remains in progress, with the Oswego County Supreme Court case resuming Monday. Monday’s proceedings continued the ballot-by-ballot review process, where ballots contested by each candidate are presented with the legal reasoning for and against the objection. State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte began the day with a few ballots in Chenango County, before moving to remaining Madison County issues and starting Broome County’s ballots. The full day of ballot review centered around several issues, including the argument over “right church, wrong pew” voters and “wrong church, wrong pew” voters. “Right church, wrong pew” voters are those who voted at the right polling place, but the wrong election district. Some polling places will have different tables for several election districts. “Wrong church, wrong pew” are voters who cast affidavit ballots at the wrong polling site and wrong election district. The dispute first was hashed out in separate court filings submitted electronically on New Year’s Eve, before being picked up when the review resumed in court.

Full Article: New Congress begins without NY-22 House member or election results

New York: Brindisi, Tenney argue, vote by vote, in epic nail-biter. How perfect does a voter have to be? | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

Thousands of disputed votes in New York’s 22nd Congressional District election will come under intense scrutiny this week as attorneys for both candidates fight for every vote in a race now divided by 29 of 311,695 cast. Attorneys for incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) and challenger Claudia Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford, have detailed in written briefs the arguments they intend to make in court. State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte will rule on which ballots will count. Lawyers for Brindisi, who trails Tenney by 29 votes, are trying to get ballots that have been rejected to be included in the count by arguing that technicalities and alleged errors by government employees should not be enough to toss votes. Tenney’s attorneys are arguing that the judge should adhere strictly to what they say is established law. Dustin Czarny, Democratic election commissioner for Onondaga County, hadn’t read the briefs Saturday but said some of Brindisi’s arguments will be a “tough lift” based on a reporter’s description of them. Other arguments, he said, are fresh territory for the courts, so it’s not clear what will happen. Onondaga County is not part of the 22nd Congressional District. There are about 2,500 absentee and affidavit ballots that are contested from eight counties that comprise the district.

Full Article: Brindisi, Tenney argue, vote by vote, in epic nail-biter. How perfect does a voter have to be? – syracuse.com

New York: Brindisi-Tenney race narrows even more: 3 to 5 votes separate candidates | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

The incredibly close race for the 22nd Congressional District got even closer Tuesday, as about 90 new votes from a bundle of about 2,500 affidavit ballots from Oneida County were counted. Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and Claudia Tenney (R) are separated by three to five votes, according to an update in court from one of Brindisi’s attorneys. The candidates’ attorneys have been locked in a courtroom battle for nearly two months to determine the winner. The attorney, Bruce Spiva, did not specify which candidate had the minuscule edge. More than 300,000 ballots were cast in the election, making the margin separating the candidates 0.000016%. Before today, the latest unofficial vote counts had Tenney in the lead by 19 votes. That tiny margin will change again, likely multiple times, before State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte makes a ruling about which of the several thousand contested ballots will count. Oneida County officials and campaign representatives on Monday reviewed 253 contested affidavit ballots. Of them, 89 or 90 ballots were counted, attorneys said. Today, they reviewed 436 ballots, though it hadn’t yet been determined at about 5 p.m. Tuesday how many would be added to the count. In addition to the 689 ballots reviewed today and yesterday, 1,797 have yet to be reviewed.

Full Article: Brindisi-Tenney race narrows even more: 3 to 5 votes separate candidates – syracuse.com

New York: Affidavit ballot issues take center stage in NY22 judicial review | Steve Howe/Utica Observer-Dispatch

Despite another full day in court, the judicial review in New York’s 22nd Congressional District will continue, and results may not be certified until next year. The unofficial results remain unchanged as of Tuesday afternoon, with Republican Claudia Tenney leading U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, by 19 votes. State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte requested an update in Oneida County, which is in the process of canvassing 1,797 ballots under review. So far, the county board of elections has canvassed 689 ballots in two days this week, 253 on Monday and 436 on Tuesday. Of those ballots, 90 affidavit ballots were counted yesterday. The court was not supplied with the results of the recently canvassed ballots or how many ballots would be added to the count by the end of Tuesday’s session.

Full Article: Tenney-Brindisi NY22: Affidavit ballots take center stage

New York: Brindisi-Tenney result before start of Congress unlikely after Oneida County setback | Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse Post-Standard

Another delay in the review of ballots in Oneida County will likely mean that the new Congress will convene next month without representation for New York’s 22nd Congressional District. Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) and challenger Claudia Tenney (R) have been locked in a courtroom battle for more than a month to determine the winner of the Congressional race. State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte said he is waiting to rule on disputed ballots until all of the counties’ vote counts are updated. He hinted today that would mean the 22nd district would go without a federal representative, at least temporarily. “I’m personally disappointed that we’re talking about doing this early next year,” DelConte said. “I think we all know what that means for the voters of the 22nd congressional district. I wish there was something I could do.” Tenney leads Brindisi by just 19 ballots of more than 300,000 cast, according to unofficial returns from the eight counties in the district.

Full Article: Brindisi-Tenney result before start of Congress unlikely after Oneida County setback – syracuse.com

New York: Tenney leads Brindisi by 19 votes after count of Chenango County ballots | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

Former Rep. Claudia Tenney expanded her lead from 12 to 19 votes over Rep. Anthony Brindisi today after three counties reported corrected vote totals in the undecided 22nd Congressional District election. For now, Tenney leads Brindisi 155,519 to 155,500, according to unofficial returns from the eight counties in the district. Those totals are likely to change again after Oneida County finishes its review of disputed ballots ahead of a court-ordered review of disputed ballots from all eight counties next week. The biggest change Friday occurred in Chenango County where election officials counted 44 affidavit ballots and two absentee ballots that had not been previously included in their vote totals. After election officials counted the ballots today, Tenney picked up 25 votes and Brindisi 17 votes, said Carol Franklin, a Chenango County elections commissioner. An additional four ballots left the line for Congress blank. State Supreme Court Justice Scott J. DelConte had ordered Chenango County to count the 44 valid affidavit ballots after they were found by election officials in their office on Dec. 1, almost a month after the election. The ballots were cast during the state’s early voting period.

Full Article: Tenney leads Brindisi by 19 votes after count of Chenango County ballots – syracuse.com

New York: Judge tells counties to resolve Brindisi-Tenney election by start of new Congress | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

A judge today told election officials he wants to resolve disputes in the undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney by the start of the new Congress on Jan. 3. It was the first time State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte set a goal for ending the review of challenged ballots in the 22nd Congressional District – a process that has dragged on for more than a month after the election. DelConte told lawyers for the eight counties in the district that he wants to meet with them privately Friday “to address the scheduling and logistics for resuming review of all challenged envelopes and ballots as safely and efficiently as possible.” The judge said his goal is to start reviewing disputed ballots on Monday, Dec. 21. Lawyers for Brindisi, D-Utica, and Tenney have raised objections about hundreds of absentee and affidavit ballots cast in the election, leaving it to DelConte to decide which votes are valid. For now, Tenney leads Brindisi by 12 votes out of more than 318,000 cast in the election, according to uncertified returns from the counties. Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford, led by 28,422 votes on election night. But her lead evaporated as election officials counted about 60,000 absentee ballots cast under new rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full Are: Judge tells counties to resolve Brindisi-Tenney election by start of new Congress – syracuse.com

New York: New challenges raised to 67 ballots in undecided Brindisi-Tenney House race | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

Lawyers for Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney began battling for more votes Monday in the month-old 22nd Congressional District election by raising new challenges to uncounted ballots. The campaigns asked for 67 ballots rejected by Madison County elections officials to be counted, a decision that will ultimately be left to a state Supreme Court judge to decide. Most of the 67 challenges to the decisions of election commissioners were made by the Brindisi campaign, said Laura Costello, Madison County’s Democratic elections commissioner. About six challenges were lodged by Tenney’s campaign, Costello said. Madison was one of three counties in the 22nd District that began reviewing disputed ballots Monday and correcting counting errors at the order of state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte. Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford, leads by 12 votes over Brindisi, D-Utica. Tenney led by 28,422 votes election night before the count of some 60,000 absentee ballots.

Full Article: New challenges raised to 67 ballots in undecided Brindisi-Tenney House race – syracuse.com

New York: 9 ways election officials failed in Brindisi-Tenney House race, judge says | Mark Weiner/Syracuse Post-Standard

A judge this week admonished election officials for failing to provide an accurate, transparent vote count in the undecided race for Congress between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney. State Supreme Court Justice Scott J. DelConte made it clear there was no vote fraud in the election. He also said election officials can’t blame the coronavirus pandemic and a record number of absentee ballots for the problems. Instead, he placed the blame squarely on election workers, noting that election boards in seven of the eight counties in the 22nd Congressional District simply didn’t do their job correctly. DelConte blamed the errors for delaying his review of disputed ballots in an election where more than 318,000 people voted. For now, Tenney leads Brindisi by a razor-thin 12 votes. Tenney led by 28,422 votes on election night. “Judicial review of the candidates’ challenges is now impeded because the Boards of Elections failed to follow the canvassing procedures set forth in the election law,” DelConte wrote in a decision Tuesday. “Those failures caused the candidates – who may be separated by as few as 12 votes – and their prospective constituents, to endure changing and confounding vote tallies, perplexing ballot rulings (or, at times, no rulings at all), and mysterious uncanvassed and ‘mislaid’ ballots.”

Full Article: 9 ways election officials failed in Brindisi-Tenney House race, judge says – syracuse.com

New York: Judge orders partial recount in Brindisi-Tenney House race | Mark Weiner/The Syracuse Post-Standard

A state Supreme Court judge today ordered election officials to review and possibly recount some of the hundreds of disputed absentee and affidavit ballots cast in the undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney. Justice Scott J. DelConte also denied a motion by Tenney’s lawyers, who had asked the court to order the eight counties in the district to certify her as the winner in an election where more than 318,000 ballots were cast. DelConte confirmed in his order that final totals submitted to him by the counties show Tenney has a 12-vote lead over Brindisi, down from more than 28,000 election night. But he ordered each county election board in the 22nd Congressional District to recheck counting errors that surfaced in recent weeks, and review about 2,200 absentee and affidavit ballots, including 809 disputed by the campaigns. All told, voters cast 60,000 absentee and affidavit ballots in the election. Where it’s not possible to correct the errors, the counties must go back and conduct a manual recount of any ballot in question, DelConte wrote in a 20-page order. The total number of ballots that will ultimately have to be counted by hand will be determined by each county.

Full Article: Judge orders partial recount in Brindisi-Tenney House race – syracuse.com

New York: Still no ruling in Brindisi-Tenney election, but judge’s comments give hints about what could come next |Patrick Lohmann/Syracuse.com

Judge Scott DelConte had sharp words Monday for both sides in a court hearing that could decide whether Republican Claudia Tenney will defeat incumbent Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd Congressional District. More than a month after election day, DelConte is considering how to proceed with an election so far marked by errors and delay. The issues with various counties’ attempts at counting arose over two days of hearings about what the judge should do with 809 contested ballots. Brindisi, a Democrat, is asking for a partial recount after, for example, Oneida County election officials admitted losing track of disputed ballots that had been marked with sticky notes. Those notes apparently fell off the ballots before a court hearing. Tenney’s lawyers are asking the judge to order counties to certify the election now, cementing her lead of just 12 votes in an election where more than 318,000 votes were cast. This is the only election still contested of all 435 Congressional Districts.

Full Article: Still no ruling in Brindisi-Tenney election, but judge’s comments give hints about what could come next – syracuse.com

New York: Confusion in Brindisi-Tenney House race exposes state’s election dysfunction | Mark Weiner/syracuse.com

The undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney has exposed deep flaws in New York’s election system that undermine public faith in the state’s electoral process, voting rights advocates say. Those advocates say they will push for a series of state election reforms next year to make sure that the debacle in New York’s 22nd Congressional District won’t be repeated. The vote count has been marked by a series of bizarre twists, including missing ballots that suddenly surfaced, lost sticky notes that had been attached to ballots, a lack of transparency and a frustrated judge – all calling into question the competency of election officials. The Brindisi-Tenney race is the only one of 435 House seats nationwide that hasn’t been decided, more than a month after Election Day. Tenney leads Brindisi by only 12 votes – after more than 318,000 were cast – as the two sides head toward a showdown in court Monday. A judge will decide what to do about hundreds of ballots disputed by both campaigns. The concerns voiced around the state about this race have nothing to do with the unfounded conspiracy theories President Donald Trump and his supporters have promoted after his loss to Joe Biden.

Full Article: Confusion in Brindisi-Tenney House race exposes New York’s election dysfunction – syracuse.com

New York: 12 Votes Separated These House Candidates. Then 55 Ballots Were Found. | Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley/The New York Times

After all the votes had been counted in a heated House rematch in Central New York, only 12 votes separated Claudia Tenney, a former Republican congresswoman, from Representative Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat. But the razor-thin margin is far from the only reason the race is engulfed in chaos. There was the case of the missing Post-it notes, which had mysteriously fallen off a stack of disputed ballots, making it unclear whether they had been counted and why they had been challenged. The scandal has been christened “StickyGate” by local media. Now comes the disclosure that 55 in-person ballots, apparently “mislaid and never counted,” according to a lawyer for the Chenango County Board of Elections, were found by elections workers in that county. Eleven of the ballots are invalid, officials said, because the voters weren’t registered. Of the remaining 44 ballots, more were cast by Republicans, which should favor Ms. Tenney, who holds the 12-vote lead. The bombshell revelation was but the latest twist in a race — the second closest House contest in the nation — that will ultimately be decided by the courts and could take weeks to resolve if it leads to a recount. The fate of the race is of utmost importance for House Democrats, who are holding on to a slim majority after a disconcerting election cycle in which 12 Democratic incumbents have suffered defeat.

Full Article: 12 Votes Separated These House Candidates. Then 55 Ballots Were Found. – The New York Times

New York: Some ballot requests may be affected by Chenango County cyber attack | Associated Press

A hacker attack against an upstate New York county’s computer system raised concern that some emailed absentee ballot applications may not be processed, but the state Board of Elections said voting won’t be affected overall. The cyber attack on Oct. 18 encrypted about 200 computers operated by Chenango County and hackers demanded ransom of $450 per computer to unlock the files, Herman Ericksen, the county’s information technology director, said Monday. “We are not paying the ransom,” he said. Last week, the county board of elections released a public statement urging anyone who had sent an absentee ballot application by email since Oct. 15 to call the board to verify it had been received. The statement said the cyber attack would not otherwise impact voting because “the board has redundancies in place that will allow the secure and effective administration of the general election.”

New York: Why the Botched New York City Primary Has Become the November Nightmare | Jesse McKinley/The New York Times

Election officials in New York City widely distributed mail-in ballots for the primary on June 23, which featured dozens of hard-fought races. The officials had hoped to make voting much easier, but they did not seem prepared for the response: more than 10 times the number of absentee ballots received in recent elections in the city. Now, nearly six weeks later, two closely watched congressional races remain undecided, and major delays in counting a deluge of 400,000 mail-in ballots and other problems are being cited as examples of the challenges facing the nation as it looks toward conducting the November general election during the pandemic. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other officials are trading blame for the botched counting in the city, and the Postal Service is coming under criticism over whether it is equipped to handle the sharp increase in absentee ballots. Election lawyers said one area of concern in New York City was that mail-in ballots have prepaid return envelopes. The Postal Service apparently had difficulty processing some of them correctly and, as a result, an unknown number of votes — perhaps thousands — may have been wrongfully disqualified because of a lack of a postmark.

New York: A month later, this New York City primary is still a train wreck and a warning to us all | Jada Yuan/The Washington Post

The city’s hottest primary election is the 12th Congressional District. In one corner, you have Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a pal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s who has been in Congress since 1993 and was recently elected chair of the House Oversight Committee. In the other is Suraj Patel, a former Obama campaign staffer and attorney who has never held public office and helped run his family’s business constructing and franchising hotels in the Midwest before moving to New York in 2006. Their contest has everything. The Upper East Side. The Lower East Side. A tenacious, white, wealthy 74-year-old Democratic incumbent. A 36-year-old Indian American challenger who has taught at New York University’s business school and aims to be the state’s first South Asian representative in Congress. Just 648 in-person votes are separating them, with 65,000 mail-in ballots still being counted. And an entire district of 718,000 people across three boroughs have no idea who their next representative will be — a full month after Election Day. “It’s been dysfunctional to the extreme,” said Brian Van Nieuwenhoven, treasurer of the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club in the district. At the center of this mess is a massive influx of mail-in ballots — 403,000 returned ballots in the city this cycle vs. 23,000 that were returned and determined valid during the 2016 primary — and a system wholly unprepared to process them. It’s not just delayed results that are at issue: In the 12th District and in the primaries across the country, tens of thousands of mail-in ballots were invalidated for technicalities like a missing signature or a missing postmark on the envelope.

New York: Board of Elections Gears Up for Cyberattacks on November Elections |David Uberti/Wall Street Journal

New York state is training election officials on cybersecurity measures this week in the latest attempt to shore up voting systems before November. The state’s Board of Elections began a series of exercises Tuesday to simulate potential attacks on local governments such as disinformation campaigns, malware targeting voting machines and the disruption of systems that store voter registration data. The training is aimed at improving collaboration between county boards of elections and information-technology departments, said John Conklin, a spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections. “There’s a little bit of tension there,” he said. “The county boards are in a much better position now than they were in 2016, and even 2018.” County election and IT officials, along with third-party vendors that supply software or other support to governments, are participating in the workshops. They comprise one prong of New York’s strategy to protect the integrity of the vote. The Board of Elections also has produced a risk assessment for each of the state’s 62 counties, created an elections task force to monitor potential threats and provided annual cybersecurity training to local officials since 2018.

New York: Lawsuit Filed Over Absentee Ballot Rejections | Morgan McKay/Spectrum News

The League of Women Voters of New York State and the League of Women Voters of the United States joined a federal lawsuit in order to limit the number of absentee ballot rejections. According to the complaint, New York rejected 14 percent of absentee ballots in 2018 and for the past two election cycles. The state’s ballot rejection rate has been among the highest in the country. “Voters need the opportunity to ensure their vote is counted and their voice is heard,” Laura Bierman, executive director for the League of Women Voters of New York State, said. “We want to make sure that when a ballot is challenged, the voter is notified and has sufficient time to correct the error.” Ballots are often rejected if there are forgotten or mismatched signatures. The main plaintiff in the lawsuit, Carmelina Palmer, a New York resident, is living through a neurological condition that causes hand tremors, and writes that she is worried her ballot will be thrown out.

New York: League of Women Voters Sues NY State Board of Elections, Alleging Serious Flaws in Absentee Ballot System | Jane Wester/New York Law Journal

The League of Women Voters sued the New York State Board of Elections Wednesday, arguing that the state’s absentee ballot procedures are woefully flawed and must be repaired. While absentee ballots have been used by a relatively small portion of New York voters in the past, absentee ballot requests skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic and are expected to represent a substantial number of ballots in November, attorneys from Selendy & Gay and the Campaign Legal Center argued in Wednesday’s filing. “If New York’s standardless process for reviewing absentee ballots and the lack of notice or opportunity to cure are permitted to continue in the 2020 November election, many more absentee voters will suffer erroneous deprivation of their right to vote,” Selendy & Gay partner Joshua Margolin wrote in the complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of New York. In 2018, election inspectors rejected nearly 14% of the absentee ballots cast in New York, according to the complaint. Many were rejected because of a mismatch between the voter’s ballot envelope signature and their voter registration.