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Judge orders boards to correct errors, continue counting ballots in 22nd Congressional District race

Oswego County State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte has issued a decision in the 22nd Congressional District race.

Posted: Dec 8, 2020 12:51 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2020 11:07 PM

OSWEGO, N.Y. -- Oswego County State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte has issued a decision in the 22nd Congressional District race.

Both Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, and Republican challenger Claudia Tenney filed court motions to allow for review of challenged ballots. However, certain counties did not follow election protocols and uncounted ballots were found weeks after the election.

Tenney then filed a motion asking the court to end the canvassing process, and certify results based on the current tally. Brindisi filed his own motion asking the court to order boards of elections to correct some, but not all, of the problems and resume the review of challenged ballots.

The judge denied Tenney’s motion and granted Brindisi’s, in part, ordering a partial recount of ballots. The decision reads, “Specifically, the respondent boards of elections are herby ordered to fulfill their statutory canvassing duties, immediately correct all of the canvassing errors and, where their errors cannot be correct, recanvass those ballots.”

DelConte has also ordered all eight boards of elections in the district to conduct complete inspections of their offices to account for all ballots. The boards also have until noon Wednesday to pick up ballots that are being securely held at the court.

The judge ordered that all ballots be properly canvassed, including affidavits and those cast during early voting. If there is an objection to a ballot, it should be opened, copied, resealed, noted, canvassed and secured. The boards must also notify voters whose ballots were challenged, so they can fix any errors.

Brindisi released the following statement Tuesday after the judge's decision was issued:

“This decision is a win for the people of the 22nd District. As I’ve said all along, the voters of this community deserve to have their voices heard. This margin is too small and the stakes too high to rush to judgement. We owe it to voters, our democracy, and each other to let this process move forward without attacking each other, promoting conspiracy theories, or fanning the flames of division.

"As this process continues to play out, I hope everyone, including those who did not vote for me, and my opponent will do what is best for our country and protect the integrity of our election. I am hopeful that I will come out on top and be able to continue to work with both parties and stand up to anyone on behalf of all of New York's 22nd district.”

Tenney campaign spokesman Sean Kennedy released the following statement:

“Today’s decision affirmatively rejected Brindisi’s attempt to have only votes favorable to his campaign counted. It appears that this ruling will see to it that every legal vote is counted. If the proper legal procedures are followed, we are confident that we will prevail and Claudia will assume office as the Congresswoman for New York’s 22nd District.”

As of the last official count, Tenney leads Brindisi by just 12 votes, not counting challenged ballots and others found after court proceedings began.

The next court date is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Read the full decision below.

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