Tags: 2020 Elections | claudia tenney | new york | house | race | recount | audit

Claudia Tenney Declares Victory in NY-22 With 123-Vote Lead

claudia tenney gives thumbs up at a ballot box after casting her vote
New York Republican Claudia Tenney (Heather Ainsworth/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 February 2021 10:16 PM

Republican Claudia Tenney has declared victory in the drawn-out race for New York's 22nd Congressional District race with a 123-vote lead, News-9 reports.

"Boards of Elections in all eight counties completed their court-ordered canvass yesterday; Republican candidate Claudia Tenney prevailed in that process," a Tenney spokesperson said. "It's time for Anthony Brindisi's Washington operatives to accept the results and stop playing politics with the integrity of our elections."

Boards of elections in seven of the eight counties that make up the district were ordered by State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte to certify election results Tuesday, the station reported.

Tenney, a central New York Republican, began the day Monday 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.

Brindisi still has legal challenges pending, but a last round of ballot counting done before a state judge Monday did not involve enough votes to shake Tenney's lead.

County 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.

Public access to the courtroom was restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic. While the proceedings were streamed to computer terminals in other courtrooms around the state, it was often unclear which votes went to which candidates. Election officials and lawyers muffled by masks discussed some results and not others.

In a brief tweet, Tenney said her lead had expanded by four more votes.

Brindisi's campaign said it would fight on.

"The margin in this case has been a moving target for nearly three months, but even now, with the margin as large as it has ever been, it is still infinitesimally small," Brindisi's campaign said in a court filing Monday.

The campaign asked Monday for an audit to help determine whether there should be a recount of all 325,000 ballots, though it was not clear whether there were legal grounds for such a motion to be granted.

Judge DelConte, who has been overseeing litigation in the race, said Friday the court cannot order a new election or direct a recount. Such recounts, even when granted, rarely change election results.

The seat representing New York's 22nd Congressional District is empty for now, leaving residents without representation.

Tenney has maintained a small lead in the race even as months of litigation revealed problems with ballots that either were not counted properly or were improperly rejected.

The race is the nation's most drawn out federal contest this year and is among the closest congressional races in the past two decades. In December, Iowa Democrat Rita Hart asked the U.S. House to investigate and overturn the race Iowa says she lost to Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, by six votes.

Brindisi's attorneys are now challenging the accuracy of machine counts of votes in the election, pointing to what they said were small discrepancies between hand counts of ballots done by election officials and counts done by automated scanners.

"In this case, there is reason to believe that voting tabulation machines misread hundreds if not thousands of valid votes as undervotes, and that these tabulation machine errors disproportionately affected Brindisi," the candidate's lawyers said in Monday filings.

Leo Glickman, an election lawyer who is not involved in the dispute, said ballot scanners are accurate in general.

"It's rare to see a major discrepancy," he said. "Every now and then you might see one just because of the way a voter colored in a ballot."

A new state law will trigger an automatic recount by hand when a race's margin is less than 0.5%, but that law did not take effect until January.

The Associated Press and Newsmax staff contributed to this report.

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Republican Claudia Tenney has declared victory in the drawn-out race for New York's 22nd Congressional District race with a 123-vote lead...
claudia tenney, new york, house, race, recount, audit, election fraud
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 10:16 PM
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