Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has now published an op-ed piece
lambasting the campaign of GOP candidate Jim Tedisco, for challenging her absentee ballot and keeping it out of the count for now in the special election for her old House seat:
Today the Republicans stooped to a new low by challenging my ballot. The Republican's challenge is frivolous and without merit.
Their latest move to challenge my ballot is part of a much larger attempt to disenfranchise legal Democratic voters and delay Scott Murphy's inevitable victory in the 20th.
National Republicans are trying to turn the 20th District of New York into the next Minnesota. It is wrong.
Gillibrand's ballot is being challenged is that the Republicans allege she was in her home county on Election Day, and thus wasn't legally qualified to vote absentee and should have gone to the polls. Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter told TPM that Gillibrand was in Albany that day, and was never in the district at all.
And all those challenges are definitely piling up. The latest numbers from Columbia County, provided to TPM, show 214 challenges compared to 378 absentee ballots that have actually been counted. And out of those total challenges, 194 have come from the Tedisco campaign. And Saratoga County, the Tedisco stronghold that hasn't reported any numbers yet, and which has about a quarter of the total absentees, currently has 714 challenges, the Albany Times Union reports.
The latest official numbers from the state show Murphy ahead by 47 votes -- but really, if you add in Kirsten Gillibrand's ballot it's 48 votes. And then there are all the other challenges out there. In addition, the latest numbers from Columbia County, which aren't yet in the state totals, put Murphy's lead even higher at 105 votes, notwithstanding any other un-reported numbers and the eventual resolutions of these challenged ballots.
This really does make a mockery of the secret ballot, doesn't it?