Chenango County Attorney Alan Gordon announced in a letter Tuesday that the county’s elections board discovered 55 uncounted early voting ballots for New York’s 22nd Congressional District race, where only 12 votes separate the two candidates.
The early voting ballots were not previously canvassed and board of elections commissioners determined that 44 of the ballots were countable while 11 were submitted by unregistered voters, Gordon said in the letter addressed to state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte.
WOW: An attorney from Chenango County drops a bombshell with the court– 55 uncounted early votes were just found, having never been seen before.
In a congressional race separated by just 12 votes, these newly discovered early votes could make the difference #NY22 @WBNG12News pic.twitter.com/SVDwXo8tgL
— Josh Rosenblatt (@JRosenblattTV) December 1, 2020
DelConte ordered the eight counties within the congressional district to submit an updated count to the court Monday. The final tally indicated that Republican congressional candidate Claudia Tenney — who served as the district’s congresswoman between 2017 and 2019 — earned 155,492 votes and incumbent Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi earned 155,480 votes, WBNG reported.
Chenango County Elections Commissioner Carol Franklin told local news that all of the newly discovered ballots were affidavit ballots submitted during the state’s early voting period and had no explanation for why they were not counted.
The remaining 44 ballots could potentially wipe out Tenney’s razor-thin lead but DelConte is expected to rule on more than 2,000 additional disputed absentee and affidavit ballots for the congressional race, according to the Associated Press. Tenney initially held a 29,000 vote lead over Brindisi on Election Day but mail-in ballots gradually dissipated her advantage.
Gordon advised the elections board not to open the 44 countable ballots and keep them secured in their offices. “I am looking for direction from the Court on how to proceed with the canvassing of these additional votes,” he wrote in the letter.
The Chenango County elections board was affected by a ransomware attack prior to the election and was unable to send results for judicial review, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch. DelConte issued an amended Wednesday deadline for motions in the case and an amended Thursday deadline for opposition papers and cross-motions.
Oral arguments on the motions are scheduled to take place Dec. 7 in the state Supreme Court as counties move to certify their results, WBNG reported. Herkimer, Madison and Oswego Counties had minor revisions to their vote counts and there could still be an eventual recount for the congressional district.