Utica, N.Y. - Anthony Brindisi's campaign officials requested a court order to impound the ballots from Tuesday's election and New York State Supreme Court Judge Patrick McRae issued the order on Friday.
Brindisi Campaign Manager Ellen Foster released the following statement to News Channel 2, “From the very beginning, our campaign has maintained that we want every vote to be counted and every voter in the 22nd district to have their voice heard. The court order makes the vote counting process work better to ensure all eligible voters have their votes count. It’s clear that the people of the 22nd district want a representative who works for them and only them. As the vote totaling process continues, we’re confident that our people-powered campaign will maintain its strong lead.”
Brindisi Campaign officials believe all items related to the election process have now been secured within each of the eight counties that make up the 22nd Congressional District. The very large district includes all of Oneida, Madison, Chenango and Cortland counties and parts of Herkimer, Broome, Tioga and Oswego counties.
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says his office was contacted late Friday afternoon by Judge McRae to execute the order, but he says his department follows the same rules of impounding the items as soon as the election is over on election night so that there is no question as to what happened to the items between the time the election ended and the time the absentee ballots are counted.
Maciol says the items impounded include the memory devices from each of the voting machines, as well as all of the paper ballots voters filled out, and finally all absentee ballots that have already come in as well as provisional ballots.
He says the items are all secure at the Oneida County Board of Elections, "The easiest way I can describe it is that it has been secured, and in a bipartisan way, which means obviously both the Republican and Democratic side, they were present when things were locked up. No one can gain entry into the place, into the room where everything is secure, unless the sheriff's office is present with a key for the room. So obviously no entry can be made without the sheriff's being present and obviously we’d be there when things need to be opened and again under bipartisan operation
Maciol says it is not unusual for a candidate to request such a court order in a close race.
Raychel Renna, Campaign Manager for Rep. Claudia Tenney, released the following statement to News Channel 2, "Anthony Brindisi is a desperate Albany machine politician who is watching his lead erode. Instead of letting the process play out to ensure votes are counted fairly as Claudia Tenney has done, Brindisi is turning to lawyers and intimidation to attempt to disqualify votes which are not for him," said Tenney campaign manager Raychel Renna. "What does Brindisi have to hide? Why is Brindisi trying to prevent votes from being counted? We will protect the integrity of this process and fight Brindisi's underhanded attempts to disenfranchise thousands of voters and potentially steal an election."
When asked to respond to that specific statement, Brindisi campaign officials said the only statement they are releasing is the one above.
The Board of Elections in each of the eight counties can begin counting absentee ballots starting seven days from election day, that will be this Tuesday, November 13th.
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