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NY Justice Refuses to Declare Winner in #NY22, Puts Them Back at Square One

NY Justice Refuses to Declare Winner in #NY22, Puts Them Back at Square One

“The winner of this election must be decided by the real parties in interest: the voters. And to do so, every valid vote must be counted.”

New York State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte told Board of Elections officials that he would not declare a winner in New York’s 22nd Congressional District and fix previous errors.

My head is still spinning.

Things spun out of control right before Thanksgiving when Post-Its fell off a bunch of contested ballots.

Then the lead went to Democratic incumbent Anthony Brindisi by 13 votes. His Republican challenger Claudia Tenney took the lead three days later with 12 votes!

It doesn’t help that officials keep finding ballots! They found 55 ballots last week. They discovered 12 more ballots yesterday!

DelConte literally put officials back at square one.

DelConte made sure to note that “there is absolutely no evidence – or even an allegation – before this court of any fraud on the part of the Boards or the campaigns.”

The judge denied Tenney’s proposal to certify the race and declare her the winner:

DelConte wrote that Tenney’s proposal would require him to “ignore multiple errors by the respondent Boards of Elections, disregard proper challenges to invalid ballots that were counted and valid ballots that were not counted…and ignore hundreds of ballots that were never canvassed in the first place.”

The judge added, “That is not the role of the court. The winner of this election must be decided by the real parties of interest: the voters. And to do so, every valid vote must be counted.”

DelConte granted some relief to Brindisi by ordering the Board of Elections “to fulfill their statutory canvassing duties, immediately correct all of the canvassing errors and, where their errors cannot be corrected, recanvass those ballots.”

Here’s the thing. They went to DelConte because they could not figure out the winner.

Granted, New York election laws would drive anyone insane. Then again, who uses Post-Its to mark something important? It doesn’t take long for the glue to come undone on a Post-It. But the law clearly states you must use ink!

The most recent tally still has Tenney ahead by 12 votes. But there are still many votes out there:

DelConte did not rule today on the validity of any of the hundreds of absentee and affidavit ballots challenged by the Brindisi and Tenney campaigns. He blamed the “failures” of county election officials in the 22nd District, who in some cases lost information about the disputed votes.

In Oneida County, election officials admitted that they lost sticky notes that had been attached to disputed ballots with reasons for the challenges. The judge also said Madison County officials had also failed to follow election law, requiring details to be written in ink on disputed ballots.

“Those failures have frustrated the candidates, and prejudiced their rights to meaningful judicial review of the boards’ actions on the challenged ballots,” DelConte wrote. “In particular, this court cannot rule upon the validity of those ballots without evidence establishing what candidate had challenged the board’s ruling on a particular ballot’s validity.”

We have:

  • 1500 ballots in Oneida County
  • 100 in Courtland County
  • “Hundreds” in Broome County
  • 67 found in Chenango

Now those votes will be canvassed.


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I suggest they toss a coin and call it a day. Or, perform a Survivor type challenge where each has to build a fire that burns through a string and raises a flag.

Translation: “Keep counting until the democrat wins.”

Last time LI covered this, I commented that they would keep counting until the Democrat won.

Same comment. As soon as a count shows the Democrat in the lead? Wham, bam, certified, sworn into office.

actually it will go to the house and the democrat will win

I just found 100 ballots in the grand children’s playroom. You know how they like to color.?

A duel?

Q: What is the difference between elections in North Korea and New York?
A: Elections in North Korea are more transparent, efficient, and you know the results immediately.

You don’t really need a lot of rules to make an election fair and transparent.

You don’t need a lot of fancy gadgets.

You just need a valid register of voters. You need to be able to prove the people voting are one of the folks one that register (and only once). You need a moderately easy method of voting. You need a secure chain of custody for those ballots. And you need to count the ballots transparently. That’s it.

Why is this so danged hard in some places?
(Yeah, I know the answer, too.)

    markymark in reply to GWB. | December 9, 2020 at 11:03 am

    It is rather amazing that in the olden days (pre-technology) we used to be able to have Election Day rather than Election Month(s).

    artichoke in reply to GWB. | December 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    To state the obvious, the purpose of the high tech is to prevent common sense assurance that things are done right and to allow cheating. Then, even when you find the cheating, friendly judges can pretend your evidence isn’t evidence, the press can spin public opinion, and you’d have to fight a war to back up the true result.

    OK so let’s fight that war if we have to.

I’ve been an election judge in Missouri for 11 years. The bedrock of any free, fair, legitimate election is  ‘chain of custody ballot integrity.’ IE:  every ballot checked out must equal every ballot returned. Election judges in each precinct are criminally liable for any indiscepancies in the ballot count. Anything less is a recipe for corruption and disenfranchisement.

Perhaps they do ‘law’ differently in NY, but to have thousands of ballots outstanding and uncounted weeks after an election stinks of criminality. To allow Stalin’s dictat of ‘It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes’ set the rules in this affair makes this judge a gutless wonder.

Issue a drop dead date for these outstanding ballots, with threat of criminal consequences for these BOE officials who do not comply, and BE DONE WITH IT.

    Election judges in each precinct are criminally liable for any indiscepancies in the ballot count.

    Then there ought to be a bevy of folks going to jail after this election … but I doubt it

Fraud again.

Dems will probably massage this until they win one way or another, then everything is ordered stopped.

But the informal precedent value of this is great. We need to look very carefully at the presidential votes in all 50 states, including NY. Certifications based on a standard lower than this judge’s should be reversed nationally. Trump may have won all 50 states, and we’re done being nice and giving the Dems any states they actually lost.

I applaud the widespread return of the incompetent boob defense. There was no organized fraud. The people responsible for managing elections are all incompetent boobs. And, because they are incompetent boobs, they can not be held responsible for the mountain of errors caused by their gross negligence and failure to follow clearly written law.

All ballots which have fallen outside the chain of custody should be discarded. Chain of custody also includes the statutorily mandated, monitored tabulation process. If the voter who tendered the ballot can be identified and was a legal voter, then that person should be allowed to sue the elections officials responsible for allowing them to be disenfranchised due to gross negligence. This idea that a stack of ballots, discovered in a toilet stall in the gas station across the street from the courthouse are somehow “valid” ballots and have to be counted, is absurd.

Why should “found” ballots be counted when it cannot be shown that they were cast legally and on time? Obviously the chain of custody has been broken.

If they were indeed simply “misplaced”, who is responsible for that and what punishment is appropriate? Somebody needs to be held accountable for their slipshod handling of an election.

Oneida County = Utica – one of the smallest cities in the country to have had its very own Mafia family.

How hard can it be for a congressional district to not lose ballots behind the sofa or under car seats?

Not even an allegation, huh? I question this judge’s sources for that claim.