Call it a case of bad initial judgment. John O. Jacoby Jr. on Monday was awarded the victory in a close election for a Lewiston Town Board seat, and the reason has everything to do with the letter between “John” and “Jacoby.” State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita III ordered the counting of ballots from 43 Lewiston voters who filled in the “O” in Jacoby’s name, instead of the oval for voting on their paper ballots. The computerized scanner that counts Niagara County votes missed those 43 votes because they are programmed to register marks in the oval. The scanner did count 21 ballots for Jacoby on which the voter filled in both the oval and the O. Acting Republican Election Commissioner Michael P. Carney sought to disallow those 21 votes because of the double marking, but Sedita refused.
New York Agrees to Expand Voting Access for People With Disabilities | Ashley Wong/The New York Times
Voting in New York will become easier for blind and disabled residents following the settlement of a lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections this week. Under the new terms, the state board has until June 1 to create an electronic voting method that will allow voters with disabilities that make reading or writing text difficult, such as blindness or paralysis, to print out ballots online and mail them back. “Through this agreement, the New York State Board of Elections has made it easier for people with print disabilities to vote with greater privacy and independence,” said Timothy A. Clune, executive director of Disability Rights New York, in a statement. The original complaint filed in May 2020 said voters with disabilities who did not want to vote in person out of fear of contracting Covid-19 were being excluded from absentee voting because they were unable to independently fill out paper ballots. Once the new system is in place, voters with disabilities will be able to request ballots from their local election boards up to 15 days before any election. These ballots will come with postage-paid return envelopes and “oath envelopes” that will feature raised markers indicating where voters with visual impairments can sign their names, though the board will accept signatures written anywhere on the envelopes.
New York Senate Plans Statewide Hearings On Elections With Voters Taking Center Stage | Brigid Bergin/WNYC
After a tumultuous primary election season in New York City that is renewing perennial calls to overhaul how the state runs its elections, the head of the New York State Senate Elections Committee, State Senator Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn, announced plans on Monday to hold a series of hearings across the state to gather input from voters about their experiences at the polls. “We’re going to go out to Syracuse and Rochester. We’re going to hear from Westchester, Hudson Valley, and Long Island voters about what they think should be changed,” said Myrie during an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show. “So it won’t just be a panel of experts and folks who work in this space regularly. We’re going to hear from the voters,” he added. The announcement made good on a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins who described the recent errors on the part of the New York City Board of Elections when they released and then retracted faulty ranked-choice voting tallies as a “national embarrassment” and pledged to hold legislative hearings this summer to develop reform proposals. The first State Senate hearing is expected to take place at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn on July 28th with additional hearings scheduled for other localities in the final week of July and first week in August. Myrie said the process will culminate in Albany in September at a hearing that will also feature testimony from experts in election administration and good government. These State Senate hearings come in addition to one previously announced by the Assemblymember Latrice Walker, who chairs that chamber’s Election Law Committee, specifically on the topic of ranked-choice voting. That hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 19th at 250 Broadway in Manhattan.
Why New York’s Election Debacle Is Likely to Fuel Conspiracy Theories | Maggie Astor/The New York Times
It has been one week since the New York City Board of Elections botched the release of preliminary ranked-choice tabulations from the city’s mayoral race, counting 135,000 dummy ballots that employees had used to test a computer system and then failed to delete. It was a stunning display of carelessness even from an agency long known for its dysfunction, and the reverberations will continue long after Tuesday evening, when Eric Adams was declared the winner of the Democratic primary race by The Associated Press. (You can follow the latest news here.) That’s because, while the mistake was discovered within hours and corrected by the next day, it provided purveyors of right-wing disinformation with ammunition as powerful as anything they could have invented. Some supporters of former President Donald J. Trump quickly suggested that the results of the 2020 election might also have been miscounted. (Exhaustive investigations have made it very clear that they weren’t.) Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, called ranked-choice voting “a corrupt scam” — even though problems at the Board of Elections far predate it — and tweeted: “How can anyone trust that a voter’s fourth-place choice was accurately tabulated on the eighth round of ranking? Look at the debacle in New York City right now.” Mr. Trump himself suggested falsely that the true results would never be known. “We had an election where we did much better than we did the first time, and amazingly, we lost,” Mr. Trump said at an event in Texas on Wednesday. “Check out the New York election today, by the way. They just realized it’s a disaster. They’re unable to count the votes. Did you see it? It just came out. They’re missing 135,000 votes. They put 135,000 make-believe votes in. Our elections are a disaster.”
Even in a state that has long been considered, by those who keep track of such things, one of the worst in the country when it comes to election administration—the basic civic business of collecting and counting votes—New York City stands out. For decades, its Board of Elections, ten commissioners and hundreds of employees appointed by local political-party leaders, has been accused of mismanagement, corruption, nepotism, and outright incompetence. In 1971, the Times’ editorial page described the board as being “at best a semi‐functioning anachronism.” The description still applies. This week, the whole country found out why. On Tuesday, the board released partial results of the Democratic Party’s mayoral primary. The numbers revealed a tight race between Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, and Kathryn Garcia, the longtime city bureaucrat. But something was off. On Election Night, the board had released even-more-partial results, which showed that eight hundred thousand New Yorkers had voted in person during the primary. This week, the numbers showed that some nine hundred and forty thousand had. Hours of confusion followed. Eventually, the board took down the results from its Web site and issued a statement resembling an explanation. A hundred and thirty five thousand “ballot images used for testing” had not been “cleared” from the computer program used to crunch the numbers, and had been accidentally included in the results when the “cast vote records were extracted,” the statement said. “The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.”
New York’s ‘head-swirling’ mistake puts harsh spotlight on ranked-choice voting | Maya King and Zach Montellaro/Politico
Ranked-choice voting was having a moment. Then came New York City’s mayoral election debacle. Even though last week’s fumble by the city Board of Elections — in which it released incorrect vote tallies before fixing the totals 24 hours later — was not specifically related to the ranked-choice system, the complex way of choosing candidates is drawing new scrutiny as New Yorkers are going on two weeks waiting to learn the identity of the city’s likely next mayor. Advocates of ranked-choice voting are desperate to maintain their momentum: Within the past decade, ranked-choice voting has expanded from a mostly overseas phenomenon to the system under which the mayor of the nation’s largest city, and senators and members of Congress from two states, are now elected. And more change is on the way, they say, so long as last week’s snafu doesn’t sour potential converts to the reform cause. “My concern is that New York’s experience will give ranked-choice voting a black eye,” Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, said. Despite New York’s struggles, elections officials and practiced ranked-choice voting experts say they’re still confident in the system. The source of last week’s faux pas — forgetting to erase test ballots from the system — could have happened in a conventional election, they insist.
New York City Mayor’s Race in Chaos After Elections Board Pulls Back Results | Katie Glueck/The New York Times
The New York City mayor’s race plunged into chaos on Tuesday night when the city Board of Elections released a new tally of votes in the Democratic mayoral primary, and then removed the tabulations from its website after citing a “discrepancy.” The results released earlier in the day had suggested that the race between Eric Adams and his two closest rivals had tightened significantly. But just a few hours after releasing the preliminary results, the elections board issued a cryptic tweet revealing a “discrepancy” in the report, saying that it was working with its “technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred.” By Tuesday evening, the tabulations had been taken down, replaced by a new advisory that the ranked-choice results would be available “starting on June 30.” Then, around 10:30 p.m., the board finally released a statement, explaining that it had failed to remove sample ballot images used to test its ranked-choice voting software. When the board ran the program, it counted “both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the statement said. The ranked-choice numbers, it said, would be tabulated again. The extraordinary sequence of events seeded further confusion about the outcome, and threw the closely watched contest into a new period of uncertainty at a consequential moment for the city.
Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia are suing. Donald Trump is pushing conspiracy theories. And the final results in New York’s mayoral primary may not be known for weeks or possibly months. The botched count of the city’s ranked-choice election results Tuesday sparked a flood of criticism and calls for reform of New York’s notorious Board of Elections — but as candidate Maya Wiley said Tuesday night, “It is impossible to be surprised.” Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and July 4 on Coney Island, bungled votes and the uproar that follows have become a tradition in New York where elections have long been run by a board controlled by political party machines and staffed through patronage. The Board of Elections was forced to retract a set of mayoral primary results it published on Tuesday, admitting that staffers had accidentally included 135,000 test ballots in the numbers. The election is the first citywide contest conducted under a new system of ranked-choice voting. “It’s broken. It’s arcane,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the board on Wednesday. “This is a partisan board with no accountability… They’re a relic from the past.” The cycle of election day fumbles — followed by recriminations, hearings and investigations — has played out many times before. But New York elected officials have never taken action to overhaul the board, whose structure is dictated by state law.
New York: Rudy Giuliani’s law license suspended in connection with efforts to overturn 2020 election | Shayna Jacobs, Rosalind S. Helderman and Devlin Barrett/The Washington Post
New York state suspended Rudolph W. Giuliani from practicing law on Thursday, months after the former New York mayor battled to overturn the settled results of November’s election on behalf of President Donald Trump. The committee of First Department Appellate Division judges that made the determination said Giuliani is not fit to continue practicing law after he “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for [Trump] and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.” The panel issued a 33-page opinion on the matter. The court’s disciplinary committee, which fielded multiple complaints against Giuliani and is overseeing arguments in the case, found that his conduct “immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law,” the opinion said. The suspension represents one of the first serious attempts to impose consequences on Trump or his top allies for spreading falsehoods about the election results, rhetoric that has continued unabated since President Biden’s victory was certified. It comes, too, as Trump and Giuliani face separate criminal investigations in New York.
New York: Rudy Giuliani’s Law License Suspended Over False Election 2020 Statements | Deanna Paul/Wall Street Journal
A New York court suspended Rudy Giuliani’s state law license Thursday after concluding that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” in his effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election in favor of former President Donald Trump. Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, represented Mr. Trump as his personal attorney beginning in 2018 with the Russia investigation. After the 2020 election, Mr. Giuliani led a legal team that laid out sprawling and unsupported allegations of a conspiracy between Democratic officials and foreign governments to steal the presidential election for Joe Biden. “These false statements were made to improperly bolster [Giuliani’s] narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client,” the New York appellate division wrote in an order based on the findings of a continuing investigation by its attorney-grievance committee. It is unusual for the appellate division to suspend a lawyer’s license before the grievance committee completes its investigation, ethics lawyers said. The 33-page order said the court acted now because Mr. Giuliani’s conduct threatened the public interest, citing Mr. Giuliani’s “past, persistent and pervasive dissemination of these false statements in the media.” “This is not a situation where the uncontroverted misconduct consisted of only a few isolated incidents,” the court wrote.
New York State Board of Elections Approves Software To Tabulate Ranked-Choice Primary Results | Brigid Bergin/Gothamist
It may take until mid-July to know who has won all the New York City primary contests, but at least elections officials won’t need to hand count tens of thousands of ballots. The New York State Board of Elections finally issued its unanimous approval on Tuesday for the city to use software to tabulate the ranked-choice vote results. The approval comes after more than 18 months of back and forth between the city and state over the process required to test and implement the Universal Ranked-Choice Voting Tabulator, the software selected by the city which was developed by a non-partisan non-profit called The Ranked Choice Resource Center. It wasn’t until January of this year that state officials finally agreed to allow the mandatory testing and certification to take place. The reluctance from state officials stemmed in part from a position, echoed by the State Board’s Republican co-chair Peter Kosinki at the meeting Tuesday, that the city was exceeding its authority when it enacted ranked-choice voting in the first place. He argued that the system conflicts with state election law. “I think they have overstepped,” he said, warning that New York City could be setting a precedent for other localities when it comes to changing the processes used to select their local representatives. Democratic co-chair Douglas Kellner countered that the state constitution already grants localities this authority and cited case law supporting the city’s ability to select its local representatives with this system. Kellner also noted that courts have ruled against the only lawsuit that sought to block the use of ranked-choice voting. The state did identify a handful of issues with the URC tabulator, which was submitted for certification testing in March. The one outstanding issue is related to the security protocols the city BOE needs to establish.
New York: Weeks From Pivotal Primary, City Still Has No Software to Count Ranked Choice Votes | Christine Chung/The City
Ranked choice voting will debut citywide in less than a month with absentee and early in-person ballots cast in dozens of primary elections — but key questions remain unanswered on how the results will be tallied and disclosed. City Board of Elections leaders said Tuesday it will take at least two more weeks before their state counterparts will decide whether to approve the software that will tally up to five ranked choices for each voter and then allocate votes among candidates. Meanwhile, the city board has not yet committed to releasing ranked results at the hyperlocal level, potentially frustrating public accountability. The city Board of Elections did not answer questions about the absence of election district data for the year’s past special elections or how results will be presented in June. “Step one is the software being certified,” said Valerie Vasquez, a board spokesperson. In late January, the state Board of Elections committed to working with the city to come up with a plan to certify tabulation software after more than a year of tension over vendor selection, Gothamist reported. That certification is still pending.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.