Tags: murphy | leads | tedisco

Murphy Grabs 25-Vote Lead Over Tedisco

Monday, 13 Apr 2009 12:10 PM

By David A. Patten

Democrat Scott Murphy has taken the lead over Republican Jim Tedisco in the closely watched 20th Congressional District race touted as a gauge of support for President Obama’s handling of the economy.

Tedisco nursed a razor-slim lead last week, but a swing in absentee ballots put Murphy back in front by 35 votes over the weekend.

Just before noon Monday, adjusted totals called in from Greene County cut Murphy’s lead to just 25 votes.

The next round of absentee-ballot counting may spell trouble for Murphy, however.

That’s because Saratoga, by far the largest county in upstate New York’s 20th Congressional District, plans to report its absentee-ballot count Monday afternoon.

Saratoga favored Tedisco by a 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent margin, according to returns posted on election night. Because absentee ballots often follow general election returns, Tedisco should get a significant boost when Saratoga’s absentee ballots are counted.

Saratoga election board officials tell Newsmax they have 1,839 absentee ballots, significantly more than any other county.

A smaller county, Washington, also is scheduled to begin counting its absentee ballot Monday afternoon. That count is not expected to be completed before Tuesday, however.

Washington County officials tell Newsmax they have about 640 paper ballots. Washington favored Murphy on Election Day.

With so few votes separating the two candidates out of more than 155,000 cast, military and overseas ballots may prove critical.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, the 10 counties that comprise the district had received 403 military and absentee ballots. About half of those are military ballots.

The deadline for receipt of all overseas ballots is Monday April 13. All absentee ballots, including those from abroad, must be postmarked by March 30 in order to be valid.

Overseas ballots are expected to be opened and counted later this week.

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