Tags: tedisco | vote | count

Tedisco, Murphy Vote Count Delayed One Week

Monday, 06 Apr 2009 01:49 PM

By David A. Patten

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Suspense over the winner of one of the tightest races in New York’s history will continue at least another week, sources tell Newsmax.

The New York court supervising the race between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democratic challenger Scott Murphy has ordered that no absentee ballots be counted until next week at the earliest, election officials say.

The Dutchess County court held a hearing Monday morning to schedule the counting of those ballots. The two candidates spent the weekend in a dead heat, with each earning 77,225 votes.

“This is clearly the closest race, heading into the counting of the absentee ballots, I’ve ever seen outside of small village elections where there are a couple of hundred votes,” New York pollster Steven Greenberg of Siena College tells Newsmax. “I’ve seen ties in those types of elections. But I’ve never seen a dead-even tie in an election with 155,000 votes.”

The 10 counties in the district report receiving over 6,600 absentee ballots in the race. None of them have been counted yet. The candidate receiving the most absentee ballots is the odds-on favorite to eventually serve in Congress.

A new hearing date to determine when those ballots will be counted has been set for April 13 – the same date by which all military and international absentee ballots will be received. Counties had hoped to avoid the expense of hosting separate sessions to count those late-arriving ballots, and the new schedule would appear to avoid that.

It is not known whether the deadline for overseas ballots was a factor in Monday’s decision to wait at least one week before counting those all-important absentee ballots.

Both candidates’ campaigns are already raising large sums of cash to help defray the cost of the drawn out post-election struggle expected to stem from such a close election. The contest was played up as having national significance as a referendum on the GOP’s political resurrection and President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy.

In the Senate election in Minnesota that has been deadlocked for five months now, the absentee ballots have triggered repeated disputes over which votes should be counted.

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