Less breathing room for Amedore
Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk has sliced the lead of Republican Assemblyman George Amedore in the 46th Senate District by more than half.
Heading into Monday, Amedore had built up a lead of about 920 votes on the back of absentee and affidavit ballots from Albany, Greene, Schenectady and Montgomery Counties. The counting of about 4,000 paper ballots from Ulster County began on Monday, with about 2180 votes counted before today's lunch break, as Tkaczyk had gained 1340 votes and Amedore had gained about 840.
The two candidates are now separated by about 420 votes, with the towns of Ulster, Woodstock and Saugerties needing to be finished.
Even after today, though, the race will still be too close to call, as hundreds of ballots have been laid aside for a judge to review. Acting Montgomery County Supreme Court Judge Guy Tomlinson will start reviewing those ballots on Thursday.
In Ulster County alone, more than 280 ballots have been laid aside. In the first four counties and in Ulster, most of the objections have come from the lawyers whose candidate did worse in that county on Election Day. This trend has been specifically evident in Ulster County today, where at one of the tables counting ballots, 45 of the 46 objections were from Amedore's attorney David Lewis.
It's not clear how many of the objections in this race, or specifically in Ulster County, will be deemed valid and ultimately counted.
One fun objection for Tomlinson to review is over the absentee ballot of an elderly woman who is blind in one eye and claimed it is hard for her to leave her home, while acknowledging that she can drive. Another lawyer for Amedore noted that she could drive, which meant she wasn't stuck in her house, and objected to the ballot. The objection garnered some light prodding from BOE staff and attorney for Tkaczyk.
Ulster County broke in Tkaczyk's favor on Election Day, with her winning about 61 percent of the vote. Right now, the paper ballots have broken about 61.5 percent in her favor.
One development that will hurt Tkaczyk is the number of affidavit ballots that will ultimately be counted. There were 1100 of these ballots, which typically reflect Election Day results and even lean more Democratic, but 400 of them were deemed ineligible by the Ulster County BOE.