Brehm said that at least 10,055 total absentee ballots had been issued, including 1,882 military and overseas ballots, of which 5,907 total had been returned. Of the remainder, the regular absentees have the next week to arrive in the mail, while the military/overseas ballots have been given an extra six days on top of that under a recent consent decree with the Justice Department.
Election officials will be able to sort through these envelopes and screen out those that should be rejected, but they won't actually be able to count them until the court gives the go-ahead.
The legal requirements for absentee ballots in New York are actually quite similar to the ones in Minnesota: Ballots have to be properly signed; the signature must match the one on file; the voter must be registered in their precinct; the voter cannot have also voted at the polls on Election Day. One exception is that Minnesota requires all absentee ballots to be witnessed by another registered voter, while New York doesn't require any witnessing except for certain narrow situations -- for example, if a disabled voter can only make a mark and not a full signature, or if a military voter doesn't have access to a regular post office.
So there you have it. This race is headed to the court system, which will oversee the counting and recounting of votes. One problem Murphy might have is that Al Franken's lawyers aren't available right now. And in Tedisco's favor, Norm Coleman's attorneys are busy, too.