We all have heard of ballots being found in the trunks of cars, and elsewhere during recounts. In a hotly contested race for the State Senate in New York, Democrats have gone one better, and found two new (and uncounted) voting machines.
Traditionally Republican, the State Senate moved over to the Democrats in 2008, giving Democrats complete control of both houses of the state legislature and the Governor’s office for the first time since the New Deal.
In the 2010 mid-terms, however, Republicans made a comeback, and are on the verge of taking back the State Senate. This will have important implications for redistricting.
There are a small number of contested races, however. One of those races is in Buffalo, NY, in which the Republican is leading.
During the recount process, Democrats did not just find new ballots, they found two new voting machines:
Two new voting machines were located last night in Buffalo, according to Sen.-elect Mike Gianaris, a Democratic attorney helping his party’s efforts in ballot counting.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Antoine Thompson trails GOP challenger Mark Grisanti by 821 votes, but Gianaris said the new voting machines and how they’ve been handled are a “total disaster” and “complete mess,” adding that lawyers for Thompson are considering legal action that might force a complete recount of paper ballots optically scanned by the machines.
This would involve an amount of paper not seen in 50 years; elections in recent New York history have until this year been conducted with mechanical voting machines, not electronic machines that scan paper ballots. Such a recount would take a long time, to the dismay of people hoping the Senate will be clearly decided before January, when it is set to reconvene….
Democrats must win Thompson’s seat, as well as seats held by Sens. Suzi Oppenheimer and Craig Johnson, to maintain a 32-30 majority in the chamber. Oppenheimer is leading her GOP challenger, but Johnson is trailing.
When this trick doesn’t work, what will be next?
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