The latest state numbers from the NY-20 special election show Democratic candidate Scott Murphy leading Republican Jim Tedisco by 86 votes, a margin of 0.054%, as the progression of the count and the legal developments are making a Murphy win seem more and more likely.
The big news here is that this is after the initial absentee numbers have come in from the Tedisco stronghold of Saratoga County, with Tedisco only picking up a net 163 votes, out of 1,181 — seemingly bad news for him, considering he needed something more substantial here. On the other hand, it turns out there are 740 challenged ballots in this county, and it’s not clear right now what the actual makeup of these are, in terms of how many were challenged by each campaign.
Combined with other county absentee results, Murphy is still ahead by 86 votes — and that’s with more ballots to come in the pro-Murphy Columbia and Warren counties, where his lead is likely to extend further.Meanwhile, Judge James V. Brands has issued an opinion that appears to have damaged Tedisco’s hopes of winning the challenges.
As explained by PolitickerNY, the Tedisco camp had been seeking to obtain copies of the original applications for absentee ballots, rather than just the counties’ records of the applications. But Brands ruled that a campaign has no legal entitlement to those papers, meaning Tedisco won’t have the evidence to attempt to prove up his challenges against various Murphy voters. This basically renders the challenges null and void, as Brands essentially endorsed a presumption of correctness by the local officials who issued the ballots.
Brands set a date and time of this Monday at 10 a.m. for further proceedings to count the challenged absentee ballots. This thing might just be winding down.