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The Final (Senate) Countdown

By Lombardo David
Friday, January 18, 2013

Miss my 46th Senate District math? Well, it's back for a final exam!

Today there is a plan to count the final 91 votes in the 46th Senate District race, where former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore currently leads Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk by 35 votes. The remaining votes include one in Albany County and 90 in Ulster County.

The votes in Ulster County include 53 votes cast by elction workers. There are 39 from Democratic election workers and 14 from Republican election workers. Assuming those votes are cast along partisan lines, Tkaczyk should net 25 votes, which would bring Amedore's lead down to 10 votes.

That would leave 38 votes, with one from Albany County and 37 from Ulster County.

One way of predicting who these remaining ballots will go for is to look at who objected to the ballot. Conventional wisdom assumes that a ballot will break against the candidate whose legal team made the initial objection. Based on this belief, Tkaczyk should do very well with the remaining ballots, which were almost all contested by Amedore's legal team.

The problem with this rationale is that it's not a guarantee.

In this case, though, Amedore's legal team had done extensive investigating of the voters who cast absentee and affidavit ballots, so they had an idea about what ballots they needed to contest. At the same time, Tkaczyk's legal team was doing its own investigations, although they made less objections.

Assuming a partisan breakdown of the election workers, Tkaczyk would need to win 24 of the final 38 votes to get a tie. This is about 65 percent of the remaining votes. Unfortunately you can't compare this percentage to any past percentages because of how small the sample size is.

Conventional wisdom does lean in favor of Tkaczyk. Considering she did well in Ulster County on Election Day and most of the challenges came from Amedore' legal team, it is the growing assumption that she will squeak out a win.

All of these assumptions are based on all the remaining 91 votes counting. It assumes none of the voters voted twice, didn't vote, left stray marks, included pizza stains, gave extra pieces of paper or submitted the wrong ballot. Any of these occurrences will either lower the number of votes or lead to legal challenges.

If even one or two votes are tossed out this race could be totally up for grabs and at the very least will become even closer

Oh yeah, one more vote was found in Montgomery County, which may or may not need to be counted... If it does need to be counted, it means there is a tie or the race is within one vote, so you can ensure it would prompt a fight of epic proportions.

Counting will start in Albany County this afternoon and Ulster County at 10 a.m.

Follow @poozer87 on Twitter.

 
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