The Daily Gazette
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Lead in state Senate race flips because of errors

Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, now has a 54 vote lead in the race for the new 46th Senate District.

After Election Day, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk had a 139 vote lead over Amedore. This week the five counties in the district, which stretches from Albany County down to Ulster County, reviewed their totals from Election Day, with multiple mistakes being discovered in Greene County. There were no changes reported to machine vote totals in any of the other counties.

Greene County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Thomas Burke said the errors were detected when the memory cards from the polling places were run again and tabulated. The difference was a 193 vote swing in the favor of Amedore, who now has 10,253 votes in Greene County, up from 10,090 on the first count, and Tkaczyk has 7,187 votes, down from 7,217.

"That difference was the fault of bad reporting or bad [transposing] of numbers," Burke said, referring to the process of elections inspectors calling in results from the field on election night. He said the mistakes were made at several polling locations.

During the 43rd Senate District Republican Primary in September, a similar mistake was made.

Other counties avoid these kind of errors by tabulating results directly at the county BOE headquarters, which removes one layer of potential human error.

Burke added that lawyers for both the candidates seemed to accept the shift in votes.

In response to the latest news, Amedore spokesman Kris Thompson said they were extremely encouraged and remained confident of their chances to win.

A conference call is scheduled for this afternoon with lawyers for the candidates, the five county boards of elections and the judge overseeing the count. On Monday, Albany County is scheduled to begin counting paper ballots, which include absentee and affidavit votes.

There are likely more than 9,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted and at least 1,000 affidavit ballots.

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