New York state’s 22nd congressional district, stretching from Utica to Binghamton, is considered Republican by six percentage points by the Cook Political Report. It elected Democrat Anthony Brindisi in 2018 by a margin of just 4,500 votes.
Claudia Tenney, who held the seat before that, came back as a challenger this year, and seemed ahead until a county judge blocked certification and said he would personally review all the rejected mail-in ballots.
The judge miraculously "found" enough ballots that he felt were okay and the incumbent now "leads" by 13 votes.https://t.co/miAlX6bZpD
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) November 28, 2020
The review put Brindisi ahead by just thirteen votes, and last week he triumphantly declared he would be “sworn in and continue to work with both parties” come January.
That declaration may have been premature, however, as on Monday officials in Herkimer County revised their tally to show a lead of 12 votes – for Tenney.
“Legal fight far from over,” declared Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 30, 2020
Tenney led Brindisi by some 28,000 votes on election night, but mail-in ballots reduced that gap to just 200 or so over the following days. Then Owego County state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte issued an injunction to block certification of the results, until all the rejected ballots could be reviewed.
Brindisi’s “premature” declaration of victory was slammed by Tenney’s campaign as evidence that the Democrats had “no interest in ensuring a fair process that preserves the integrity of the election,” with the Republican candidate insisting that “all and only legal counts are counted.”
The battle in New York’s 22nd has mirrored the national dispute between President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden, whom the media have anointed as president-elect. Despite being behind on election night, Biden surged to claim victory in the key states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia due to a flood of mail-in ballots in a handful of areas.
Mainstream media and social networks have dismissed Trump’s allegations of fraud and irregularities with the vote, but the issue is ultimately down to the courts and the state legislatures to decide.
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