In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Tedisco's attorney had argued today that the regular absentees should be counted with the overseas and military ballots, which are in turn due to arrive next week under a consent decree that the state entered into with the Department of Justice to extend the deadline for the latter voters' ballots to come in the mail.
By contrast, Murphy's wants those ballots opened and put into the score as soon as possible.
Judge Brands writes:
While this court agrees with counsel that there should be no rush in this process to the detriment of a fair and accurate account, it occurs tot his court that both the candidates and the constituency they serve are entitled to a prompt resolution of this contested election which apparently is in a deadlock with each candidate having the same number of votes. This court has reviewed the consent decree of March 26, 2009 relating to those qualified under UOCAVA. While the language contained therein is somewhat imprecise, it is difficult for this court to imagine that it was the intent of the federal government to delay canvassing of absentee ballots which are not included within those defined under the consent decree.
Late Update: Scott Murphy's attorney Henry Berger released this statement:
"We're pleased with today's court ruling ensuring domestic absentee ballots will begin being counted this week," said Henry T. Berger. "The people of the 20th Congressional District need their votes counted in a timely manner, so they can be represented in Congress as quickly as possible in these tough economic times. We are confident that once all the absentee ballots are counted, Scott Murphy will win this election."