News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
Trudge toward Senate ballot counting begins
Don’t expect a result any time soon in the state Senate race that might decide what party controls the chamber.
On the first day of what stacks up to be a lengthy review of paper ballots, a Montgomery County judge merely set the preliminary schedule for Democrat and Republican lawyers to argue about what ballots should count.
There’s no time table yet for when any of the 870 disputed ballots would be opened.
A quick recap: Democrats and Republicans each claim 31 Senate wins with just one race still in dispute, a newly created Catskills-Capital Region district.
In the newly created 46th Senate District, Republican George Amedore held a slim 111-vote lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk after attorneys finished counting absentee and emergency ballots. (Republicans haven’t conceded in another race, in the Hudson Valley, but the Democrats’ large lead almost precludes a turnaround.)
But lawyers in the Amedore-Tkaczyk contest have objected to 870 ballots to be set aside for judicial review. And of that total, Republicans filed about 660 objections. Typically, Republicans object to likely Democrat voters and vice versa. If that holds true and if a judge rules that all the disputed votes must be counted, then Amedore's lead could disappear.
Meanwhile, a group of four breakaway Democrats have hinted at a partnership with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) that could keep the chamber in Republican hands.