Updated: 11/19/20 – 7:36 P.M.
BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — The race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District has come down to the wire. With nearly 5,000 new votes from Chenango County on Thursday, Democrat Anthony Brindisi and Republican challenger Claudia Tenney are approximately 206 votes apart.
The current tally comes from unofficial vote counts reported by all eight county boards of elections in the district.
After Election Day, Tenney was up by about 28,000 votes, 53 percent of the vote compared to Brindisi’s 42 percent. In the weeks since, however, Brindisi has won close to three times the number of mail-in ballots than Tenney, steadily closing the gap between them.
Brindisi won 65 percent of Chenango County’s absentee and affidavit ballots. Tenney, however still carried the county by 2,000 votes overall and now leads the race by roughly 206 votes.
In response to the ongoing ballot count, Brindisi’s campaign said the margin is too close to declare a winner yet.
“With a margin this close, New York voters deserve to have their voices heard,” Brindisi for Congress spokesperson Luke Jackson said in a statement Thursday. “Once every legal ballot is counted and certified, the people will decide who goes to Congress. The stakes are too high and the margin too close to rush to judgement.”
Madison and Broome counties reported slight changes to their new numbers Thursday. Mark Smith, Broome County Republican Commissioner, reported another 16 mail-in votes for Brindisi and another 12 for Tenney.
Similarly, Madison County Republican Commissioner Mary Egger told WSKG that final, unofficial counts of all votes showed Tenney with 17,040 votes and Brindisi with 15,648.
Tenney said she is confident she will go to Washington to serve in the House and that changes are unlikely in the case of a recount.
“Now that every vote has been counted, we have maintained the vote lead and are poised to come out victorious,” the former Republican Congresswoman said. “This process has been long but it is critical that every legal vote be counted and accounted for. Now that it is done, I am confident that I will be certified the winner soon.”
There are at least a couple hundred ballots that representatives of either campaign challenged, or objected to, throughout the district. That includes more than 100 in Broome County, Smith estimated. Those ballots were included in unofficial vote counts and then sent to the Oswego County Supreme Court, which will determine the validity of those ballots.**
Ballot counting was initially delayed by an Oswego County Supreme Court judge after both Brindisi and Tenney filed lawsuits requesting judicial supervision over contested ballots in the district. Their requests were granted by Judge Scott Delconte on Nov. 10, and shortly after ballot counting was allowed to begin.
According to a survey from the New York State Board of Elections, 58,997 absentee ballots were returned throughout the district, which covers parts of the Southern Tier, Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.
**This story has been updated as more dates becomes available.