The Daily Gazette
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Ulster County: The Final Frontier

The counting of absentee and affidavit ballots is underway in the only county left to go in the 46th Senate District.

Republican Assemblyman George Amedore headed into today with a 920 vote lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, with just the paper ballots from Ulster County remaining. The process of reviewing the 3350 absentee and 1100 affidavit ballots from Ulster County is going on now, with counting happening at two tables.

One of the first two municipalities being reviewed is the city of Kingston, where Tkaczyk won about 68 percent of the vote on Election Day. This municipality and Woodstock, where she won about 83 percent of the Election Day vote, will need to perform equally well in order for her to come back.

In Amedore's favor, according to a tweet from Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif, is that 500 of the affidavit ballots have been ruled ineligible by the Ulster County Board of Elections. This ruling can be challenged, but the BOE will likely only be overruled on a view votes. For now, though, this decision means that only 600 affidavit ballots, at the most, will be counted in Ulster County.

A lower total of paper ballots increases the need for Tkaczyk to outperform her Election Day win, when she got about 61 percent of the vote.

If we assume that all the absentee ballots are counted, which isn't likely, and 600 affidavit ballots are counted, then Tkaczyk would need to do about half a percentage point better with the paper ballots than on Election Day to take the lead.

But Tkaczyk doesn't need to be in the lead after Ulster County to keep this alive. In a radio interview on Talk 1300 this morning, Queens Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris said at least 400 paper ballots have been laid aside and will be reviewed by acting Montgomery County Supreme Court Judge Guy Tomlinson, who is overseeing this process. That paper ballot total will increase after Ulster County, and as long as the margin between the two candidate is less than the number of laid aside ballots, Tomlinson will have to rule on their validity later in the week.

Follow @GazettePolitics on Twitter for updates on this race and follow @poozer87 on Twitter for a steady stream of consciousness about this race.

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