Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NY22 Utter Chaos-The Election Process is Clearly broken

NY-22: Judicial review of ballots on hold until Monday

District 22 99% Reporting
 DemAnthony Brindisi48.9%154,430
 GOPClaudia Tenney49%154,730
 LibKeith Price2.1%6,590

After another full day in court Tuesday, proceedings in the judicial review of ballots in New York’s 22nd Congressional District have been put on pause as stumbling blocks with result tallies continue to plague the process.

State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte issued an injunction at the request of the legal team for Republican Claudia Tenney. Attorneys for U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi did not take a position on the motion. 

DelConte’s injunction prevents counties from certifying the results in the hotly contested congressional race, but does not affect other races, such as the presidential election.

The review of ballots is on hold, and both campaigns have until 5 p.m. Monday to file motions in the case, which has brought to light issues with ballot documentation by county boards of election.

On election night, Tenney, a former congresswoman from New Hartford, built up a lead of more than 28,000 votes. Her lead in the rematch of the 2018 election dwindled to less than 300 as absentee and affidavit ballots have been counted. 

The exact margins in the race were still a matter for debate in Oswego County Supreme Court on Tuesday, with DelConte ordering all eight counties contained in the district to provide current, complete voter tallies.

By the time court adjourned at 4:30 p.m., Cortland County had not provided results, Oneida County had to separate hand-counted ballots from its canvass totals amid a recanvass, and Chenango County, which suffered a ransomware attack before the election, was attempting to fax results again after the first set was unreadable. 

Sticky notes return

The Oneida County Board of Elections again featured prominently in Tuesday’s proceedings, after missing sticky notes raised concerns about 39 absentee ballots on Monday.

A pair of Brindisi election observers were questioned by attorneys for both campaigns over two sets of notes they took about affidavit envelopes rejected by the Oneida County Board of Elections that the campaign objected to. One of the observers was Eva Brindisi-Pearlman, the congressman’s sister. 

Questioning determined neither observer was asked for a specific objection, and the affidavit envelopes the campaign objected to were bundled with rubber bands and sticky notes denoting they were contested by the Brindisi campaign. 

The envelopes were reviewed by the observers from both campaigns during the canvass in piles by election district or town, according to testimony. The affidavit envelopes rejected by the election commissioners were stored in a box in a secure room. 

Oneida County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Rose Grimaldi said the contents of the box were transferred to Oswego County Supreme Court. When the candidate’s legal teams opened the boxes of affidavits Tuesday, they could not find the bundled affidavit envelopes with sticky notes amid the other submissions to the court. 

Other differences in handling the review process were noted during Tuesday’s court session. Cortland County Board of Elections completed its review of affidavit ballots without representatives from either campaign present. Broome County Board of Elections said the campaigns reviewed contested ballots at different times, with its elections staff present.  

The injunction puts the judicial review on hold after two long days in court, which revealed possible violations of state election law requiring a memo written in ink on the back of a contested ballot, including the nature of the objection, the challenger’s name and the signature of the inspector.


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