More Votes 'Found in a Drawer' in NY-22 Race

AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth

NY-22 is a U.S. House race in New York that is currently in dispute. The Republican challenger leads the Democrat incumbent by an unofficial count of just 12 votes. Meanwhile, a judge is waiting to rule on other disputed ballots. That includes 55 ballots ‘found’ that were revealed a week ago. Of those, 11 were cast by unregistered voters and will presumably be tossed.


Those 55 ballots were described as “early votes” so they could break for the Democrat given typical early voting trends. But as I shared in my last write-up on it, we just don’t know because the sample size is so small. They could conceivably break for the Republican.

Regardless, there is some new information to be shared on the NY-22 race, and I’ve gotten myself in a bit of trouble trying to cover this race in the past so I’m going to be very careful what I say here. This is what Fox News is reporting now about 12 more votes being found.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte said Monday that officials have discovered additional uncounted ballots amid an ongoing legal dispute related to the outcome of the race in New York’s 22nd congressional district.

The disclosure came during a hearing to determine next steps in the effort to declare a winner in the race between the incumbent Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Republican opponent Claudia Tenney. Unofficial results show Tenney with a lead of just 12 votes in the race.

In a hearing Monday to determine how to proceed with the certification process, DelConte noted that 12 uncounted ballots were found in a drawer in rural Chenango County last week, the Observer-Dispatch reported. Last week, officials discovered another 55 uncounted ballots in the same county. Of those 55 votes, 11 were cast by unregistered voters.


Judge DelConte is saying he will have a decision on all this soon. He’s going through a lot of contested ballots, not just the 55 mentioned above or this newest batch of 12. This race will hinge on what he decides. According to Fox News’ report, the Tenney campaign wants the judge to go ahead and certify the results as they stand.

Her attorneys argue the court does not have the authority to determine whether the ballots should count.

I agree with that assessment, and while it’d be easy to brush my opinion off as partisan, I think there’s plenty of logic behind the idea that counting ballots that are found a month after Election Day is incredibly damaging to our system. You are never going to get buy-in and trust in our elections if this stuff keeps happening. At some point, these counties and states need to be held responsible for their malfeasance or incompetence (whichever explanation you chose to believe). To the extent that some votes end up not counting because they are lost or don’t show up for a month, voters should be expected to elect better leaders who will fix these systems.

New York is especially bad, with it becoming routine for them to still be counting 3-4 weeks after Election Day. That’s not acceptable. We can not continue to operate like this and then expect people to believe our elections are fair and not compromised.


In the end, I don’t know how this judge is going to rule. Will he rule in a way that flips the current result and pushes the Democrat over the top? I sure hope not, but if that happens, it’s going to cause yet more distrust in our system, and that distrust will be well deserved. We’ll keep you updated.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)


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