The absentee ballot count is nearly completed in the NY-23 special election, with the new Democratic Rep. Bill Owens on track to gain votes in the process.
With only 813 ballots left to be counted, the Watertown Daily Times has Owens ahead by 3,398 votes over Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman, with an Owens lead of 253 votes within the absentees themselves.
The early absentee figures had given a mistaken impression of Hoffman gaining, because they had come mainly from counties that Hoffman carried on election day. The remaining ballots are more than not from pro-Owens counties, so he could potentially expand his lead a little bit further.
Owens was sworn in two weeks ago, after Hoffman had conceded the election. The correction of routine clerical errors, however, narrowed Owens’ margin from 5,000 votes to about 3,000, leading Hoffman to take back his concession. Wednesday night, Hoffman charged that the election was stolen: “ACORN, the unions and Democratic Party were scared, and that’s why they tampered with the ballots of voters in NY-23.”