Race for NY 7th Senate Seat Moves from Ballot Box to Courthouse

Arguments begin Wed. morning at Supreme Court

Election workers will reportedly begin the long, arduous process of in the heated race for the New York state's chair Wednesday according to a Nassau County Board of Election worker.

However, at 9 a.m. both sides will be present before a New York state justice making arguments over that process.

Election results currently show challenger Mineola , R, I, C, 415 votes ahead of incumbent , D-Port Washington, with an estimated 3,300 absentee ballots which also must be counted. Other reports peg the number of absentee ballots at 3,600. The specific number of emergency ballots – paper ballots used if a machine is broken – is unknown.

Recounts are triggered automatically if the totals are within a certain margin. A candidate may also request a recount through an order to show cause to have all the ballots and paper reviewed more expeditiously.

On election night, Sen. Johnson attributed the drawn-out process to the use of the new electronic voting machines, At the board of elections, a small sample of ballots is taken from random machine for quality control audit. If a large enough discrepancy is found, the entirety of the paper ballots are taken and counted by hand.

"They haven't even done that yet and they're already criticizing the machines," Martins said. "Sitting back and criticizing the machines before they've had an opportunity to determine if they've had any issues or problems with the machines is unfortunate."

The Johnson campaign referred all press inquiries to Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Once all the votes have been counted it will be clear that Craig Johnson is the winner and that Democrats kept the majority," Shafran said, confirming that representatives of the campaign would be present in court Wednesday.

"The absentee ballots have not been counted, the military ballots have not been counted," Martins said in response. "That they would try and disenfranchise those people who have voted by not counting their votes and already insisting on a recount is not only premature, it's inappropriate."

According to Democratic estimates, there are approximately 1,550 Democrat absentee ballots outstanding, 1,400 for Republicans, 74 for Independents and 500 "blanks," meaning they are not registered to any party. "Hundreds" of emergency ballots as well as additional votes from Conservative and Working Family party members are said to exist.

Martins took issue with the Democratic figures, describing the ballots as being "an even split between Republicans and Democrats," with about 100 Conservative, 70 Independent and 400 blanks. "They… have discounted the Conservatives that also have absentee ballots," Martins said. "The bottom line here is 'count the votes.'"


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