BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Boards of elections in New York’s 22nd Congressional district delivered their final vote counts to an Oswego County Supreme Court justice on Monday.
Based on their tallies, Democratic incumbent Anthony Brindisi trailed former Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney by just 12 votes. Each campaign received more 155,450 votes districtwide.
An additional 35 votes from Herkimer County released Monday increased Tenney’s count to 155,492 votes, while nine more for Brindisi raised his tally to 155,480.
After learning of the updated count on Monday morning, Sean Kennedy, spokesperson for Tenney, said the campaign is confident she will be declared the winner once counting is complete.
“We are encouraged that local elections officials have corrected their early tabulations and we are now ahead,” Kennedy said in a statement early Monday. “Our campaign is committed to seeing that all – and only – legal votes count. The voters’ will must be respected and the integrity of the election process maintained.”
Tenney led Brindisi on election night by 28,000 votes. The counting of absentee and affidavit ballots closed that gap over the several weeks that followed.
In 2018, Brindisi unseated Tenney by 4,500 votes. His lead was largely secured by absentee ballots.
Last week, it was freshman Democrat’s campaign that said new tallies showed Brindisi in the lead with 12 votes. In a statement Monday morning, his campaign spokesperson Luke Jackson said they remained hopeful he would win again.
“The margin in this race is incredibly close and continues to change,” Jackson said. “The integrity of the election and maintaining a count that ensures the voters of this district are heard is of the utmost importance.”
Justice Scott DelConte reviewed ballots challenged by campaign representatives or rejected by election commissioners last week. He has yet to announce his rulings of those ballots.
He said in a court order issued Monday that changes to the vote counts in Herkimer and Madison counties disclosed over the weekend, as well as letters from the campaigns requesting an extension to the deadline for motions, raised “very serious concerns” about the pending judicial review of the challenged ballots.
In a court order released Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday, DelConte prohibited county election officials from certifying a winner until further notice. New York requires county election officials to certify a winner within 25 days after the election, or on Nov. 28.
DelConte granted the extension to the candidates. Oral arguments on how to move forward with the review of ballots will be heard on Monday, Dec. 7.