The NY25 Congressional race is the race that never ends. In case you missed it, yesterday we were informed that incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei’s campaign took the highly unusual step of calling and knocking on doors of absentee voters, even though those votes have yet to be counted. They say they’re doing it to ensure the integrity of the process or something, but as a reader pointed out, Maffei also ran on the Working Families Party line – an arm of ACORN. We all know what they’re good at.
Today an error was found in Dewitt (Maffei’s home town) that gave Ann Marie Buerkle (R) a net gain of 3 votes, bringing her lead to 687. The usual re-canvassing is underway, but there may be a manual recount of all ballots in the district. Today the envelopes of the absentee ballots were being checked for signatures, among other things. But none of the absentee ballots have been opened.
The attorneys and observers have moved in to the Board of Elections offices in Syracuse. Teams are reviewing the applications filed by voters requesting absentee ballots. They’re also reviewing the signatures on the envelopes used to return the ballots, comparing them to signatures on record. They’ll take their objections to court next Tuesday, on the eve of the planned absentee count in Onondaga.
Maffei’s teams were not commenting as the review began.
Buerkle’s supporters say they remain confident her lead will hold. The end of the race comes, they say, when Dan Maffei accepts there’s no way to reverse the outcome.
Cayuga County Elections Commissioner Katie Lacey said Tuesday 123 of the 148 absentee ballots sent to voters have been returned. In addition, two special federal ballots were sent out and both were returned and 13 military absentee ballots were distributed and three of those were sent back.
Lacey added that, by court order, counting cannot begin until 2 p.m. Wednesday. At that time, Cayuga County will start its count of absentees.
“We’re on hold,” Lacey said. “Everything is locked up that is related to the 25th, including the canvass sheets, the keys to the voting machines, all of the paper ballots that were in the voting machine, all of the absentees. Everything is under lock and key. It is locked up at night by the sheriff’s office and unlocked in the morning by the sheriff’s (office). We can’t go forward with counting until tomorrow.”
Lacey does not anticipate the counting in Cayuga County to take a long time, noting that it’s a small portion of the 25th Congressional District.
Wayne County will start counting the absentees on Monday the 15th. Since Buerkle won in Wayne and Cayuga Counties it’s doubtful Maffei will shrink his deficit from those counts. It’s not known at this time when Monroe County will start counting the absentee ballots, but again, Buerkle won that county as well.
I’ll continue to keep an eye on things here, but I expect we may have a good idea what Maffei is up to on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning after the hearing.
Click here to donate to Ann Marie Buerkle’s post-election fund. Rep. Maffei may say that Republicans steal elections, but we all know how liberals like to project their own bad qualities onto others.
Addendum: This is a couple of days old, but gives you an idea of how the absentee ballots could break.
With the current absentee numbers, if the percentages stay the same, this is how the vote totals will break down:
- CAYUGA: Buerkle – 76 votes Maffei – 41 votes
- MONROE: Buerkle – 684 votes Maffei – 559 votes
- ONONDAGA: Maffei – 3,109 votes Buerkle – 2,649 votes
- WAYNE: Buerkle – 783 votes Maffei – 460 votes
If you add those votes on to the unofficial results from Tuesday, Buerkle will have 103,775 votes and Maffei will have 103,068 votes.
Update: While reading the comments at Syracuse.com I was reminded that the taxpayers are footing the bill for all of the extra work by the Board of Elections. Thanks, Maffei!
Update 2: Oh, and this from YNN:
And once the absentee count begins, the odds are not in Maffei’s favor. At this point, absentee ballots returned by voters enrolled in parties that endorsed Buerkle outnumber those returned by democrats and independents combined. The republican challenger says she, too, wants every vote counted.
Update 3: John Boehner is now raising funds for Buerkle, and Republicans in the other undecided House races.
Update 4: Ann Marie Buerkle needs your help:
I ask for your patience and help as we allow the process of making sure every eligible vote is counted to play out. Despite being outspent by a margin of 4-1, I am now leading by 684 votes. There are currently less than 9,000 returned absentee ballots for the 25th District of NY.
We are confident that when the process is finished and all of the eligible ballots have been counted, I will have won the seat. Of the 8,462 returned ballots, registered Republicans returned 3,870 absentee ballots to 2,801 Democrats. The number of Republicans who returned absentee ballots exceeds Democrats in all four counties. In Onondaga County (Syracuse) nearly 500 more Republicans returned ballots than Democrats.
The counting of the absentee ballots will be staggered over the next two weeks. Not surprisingly, the Maffei campaign has already filed legal proceedings against the four county boards of election claiming voting irregularities. The objective is to delay and obstruct the process in order to disenfranchise voters who voted for me.
Your continued support is appreciated and can be demonstrated in a tangible way by contributing to the Buerkle for Congress Recount fund via the website. Although the campaign is over, the fight to ensure every eligible ballot is counted is not. To make sure that we have the necessary financial resources to guarantee a fair election process, please give today.
Thank you all for being great Americans who love your Country and are willing to sacrifice to preserve her for future generations.
You can contribute to Buerkle’s post-election fund here.
Sam Foster at LCR linked.