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How much is "a lot"

By Lombardo David
Thursday, November 8, 2012

There are somewhere between 346 and "a lot" of affidavit ballots in the 46th state Senate District.

Affidavit ballots, in conjunction with almost 11,000 absentee ballots, will decide whether Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, or Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk represents this new seat. Based on unofficial machine vote totals from Election Day, Tkaczyk has a 139-vote lead.

As of Election Day, a little more than 9,000 absentee ballots had been returned to local boards of elections. The most absentee ballots had been returned from Ulster County by geography and Democratic voters by party affiliation.

Absentee ballots will dwarf the number of affidavit ballots, but in a tight race like this the affidavit ballots will matter.

According to Schenectady County Board of Election Democratic Commissioner Brian Quail, there are 346 affidavit ballots from Schenectady County in the district.

A staffer at the Greene County Board of Elections couldn't give a total, saying a temporary court order required them to keep them in an unopened bag. I asked for a guess, but she wouldn't play along.

In Ulster County, the number of affidavit ballots specific to this race can't be determined because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order allowing people impacted by Hurricane Sandy to vote basically anywhere via affidavit ballot. Some of those people voted in Ulster County and Democratic Ulster County Election Commissioner Victor Work said Wednesday that those ballots hadn't been separated from the 46th Senate District affidavit ballots.

“We know there are a lot of them,” Work said of the affidavit ballots for the 46th Senate District.

Election officials from Montgomery and Albany counties did not respond to a request for counts. State Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin said none of the counties have yet to file anything on affidavit ballots with them.

A counting process and timeline should be hameered out in state Supreme Court in Montgomery County on Friday afternoon.

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