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Result of N.Y. special election still unofficial, even with one candidate now in Congress

By Garance Franke-Ruta
More than a week after a special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District, Democrat Bill Owens has already been sworn into Congress and has already cast a critical vote in helping the House pass the health-care reform bill. Nevertheless, that Upstate New York race may yet hold one final twist.

According to Mark Weiner of The Post-Standard -- your source for all news on Syracuse and Central New York -- the race still has not been certified and Owens's margin of victory over Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman has narrowed sufficiently that absentee ballots will determine whether the announced result stands up.

[John Conklin, communications director for the state Board of Elections] said the state sent a letter to the House Clerk last week explaining that no winner had been determined in the 23rd District, and therefore the state had not certified the election. But the letter noted that Owens still led by about 3,000 votes, and that the special election was not contested -- two factors that legally allowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to swear in Owens on Friday.


"We sent a letter to the clerk laying out the totals," Conklin said. "The key is that Hoffman conceded, which means the race is not contested. However, all ballots will be counted, and if the result changes, Owens will have to be removed."...

Now Hoffman, who campaigned against the health care reform bill, is carefully watching as the 23rd District race tightens and he is left to wonder if he conceded too soon.

"I don't know if we would have conceded on election night," Rob Ryan, Hoffman's campaign spokesman, said Wednesday while discussing the latest results of the recanvassing. "I'm someone who doesn't like to look back. But would we have taken longer to make a decision on election night? Probably, if we knew it was only 3,000 votes making the difference."

Ryan, while acknowledging that Hoffman's chances of pulling off a come-from-behind victory are still remote, said the campaign is looking at its legal options.

"We're basically watching and waiting," Ryan said. "We've been looking very closely at the recanvass. We're going to see how this week shapes up, and then we're going to determine what to do."

Ryan suggested that absentee ballots were likely to favor Hoffman because most were likely mailed before Republican Dede Scozzafava suspended her campaign three days before the election.

The race was closely watched nationally as a possible bellwether, and for what it revealed about divisions within the Republican Party. Scozzafava, the GOP contender, dropped out the weekend before the Nov. 3 election and endorsed Owens, the Democrat.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  November 12, 2009; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Noted  
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Comments

Two things to note:

- Republicans/conservatives did not do an "about face" hysterical liberal psychodrama over weeks à la Gore - thank goodness for civic responsibility
- The Democrat won because the 6000+ republican votes for Scozzafava were not count by party

So goes a healthy democracy

Posted by: sally62 | November 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sally62, with reality checks inserted by me:

- Republicans/conservatives did not do an "about face" hysterical liberal psychodrama over weeks à la Gore - thank goodness for civic responsibility
--------
Methinks thou hast spoken too soon. If the Right thinks they can reverse the result, you will see an avalanche of indignant calls for a recall, recount, revote like you have never seen before.
--------
- The Democrat won because the 6000+ republican votes for Scozzafava were not count by party (sic)
--------
I don't know what would possibly make you think that voters who voted for the moderate Republican-most Hoffmann lovers insisted that Owens was more conservative than DeDe to justify the loss-would now throw their weight behind a nutjob.
--------
So goes a healthy democracy
--------
Please remember you said that when the hard right gets annihilated in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | November 12, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if he was able to have a recount if any other jurisdictions would somehow "undercount" the ballots. How do you screw up an election this bad? I wonder if somehow voter fraud was involved. Wouldn't be the first time in upstate NY this year.

Posted by: Steve94 | November 12, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What????????? Lib--turds getting more votes than were cast. So what else is new?

Posted by: Bcamp55 | November 12, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Because of circumstances beyond Hoffman's control he should be able to challenge the final decision. Who cares if he conceded. wasn't his fault this SNAFU happened...

Posted by: Steve94 | November 12, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

wow, with it being even closer than we thought, it looks like all the liberals who were gloating over this very narrow supposed "win"...will look really ridiculous now.

Posted by: ohioan | November 12, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The expectations of November 2008 have not been met and we now see the White house trying to make up its mind with regard to Afghanistan.

What a moment the President let slip by at Fort Hood on Tuesday!

Posted by: Lewisxxxusa | November 12, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Bcamp55 and ohioan-
I know it's standard procedure to not read the article and just commence to slandering everyone who isn't a nutjob, but seriously:
-Nowhere was it said or implied that anyone got "more votes than were cast.
-It is still extremely unlikely that Hoffman will win, even according to his campaign manager.

Try to contain your hysteria, boys. No matter what happens in NY, right wing zealots will still be marginalized and disgruntled for the foreseeable future, so don't sell your unibomber-style shacks to move into that downtown loft just yet.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | November 12, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The House sets its own rules. Even if Hoffman won in the absentees, he would not be seated by these tyrants and San Fran Nan. I would love to see him overcome those 3000 votes with 10000 to be counted but statistically, it probably is impossible. What a fun thing to see if it happened. Once more the Dems would have to explain their hamhandedness. Some Dem registrars kept some 2000 votes from Hoffman and we shall see if any count will give
Doug the win. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Posted by: phillyfanatic | November 12, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Some Dem registrars kept some 2000 votes from Hoffman
Posted by: phillyfanatic
-----------
See, that's why nobody likes you, teabagger...because, as your hero said, you lie.
No one said anything about "Dem registrars"...and you wonder why people call you tinfoil hatters.
I hope that your lies will keep you warm...you, Bcamp55, and ohioan have nothing constructive to say, but hey, lying is the #1 Rightwing tool in any situation, so why would I even be surprised?
Fat, dumb, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | November 12, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

When you think about it, the people who vote absentee are the ones who really want their vote counted. I know it sounds obvious, but if your a Democrat and the Rebublican just dropped out, you might not fill out that absentee ballot because you think the race is over. On the other hand, the conservative will send it in no matter what, just in case. It'll be interesting. Hopefully it'll be a little more transparent then the Minnesota Senate race which "statistically" couldn't have been changed either, but somehow was.

Posted by: thensell | November 12, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

DAMNEDGENTLEMEN SAYS:
"I hope that your lies will keep you warm...you, Bcamp55, and ohioan have nothing constructive to say, but hey, lying is the #1 Rightwing tool in any situation, so why would I even be surprised?
Fat, dumb, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

You call this response constructive? Admit you drink the KoolAide-that's constructive! You need to get yourself a life!

Posted by: hstad | November 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if how many of you liberals actually know what teabagger and teabagging means? You may want to consult urbandictionary.com...

Posted by: SUMB44 | November 12, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Poor damnedgentleman - you can smell the fear only found with a congressional approval rating of 25%. Save your admonishments for the mirror.

You really should go burn a flag or spit on a soldier - much more your style, son.

Posted by: JackSavage13 | November 12, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully it'll be a little more transparent then the Minnesota Senate race which "statistically" couldn't have been changed either, but somehow was."

The Minnesota Senate race was probably the most transparent race you'll ever see in your lifetime.

The problem was that Al Franken got more votes than Norm Coleman. Unlike, say, George W. Bush, who got 500,000 fewer votes than Al Gore.

Facts are usually a problem for wingnuts, but don't worry, you can always study creationism to make you feel better.

Posted by: Bondosan | November 13, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Why must anyone resort to name calling and derisive, hateful comments in order to attempt to make their views known? Ignorance, one must deduce. Civil debate is much preferred and is given much more thought and careful deliberation.

Posted by: inmanorj | November 13, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

US Constitution
Article I
Section 5
"Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business;"

Wing Nuts don't like it when their stunts backfire on them after doing the same thing in Florida Elections a few years ago. Seating a Representative while the election had not been certified and under Court Challenge by Democrats.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 14, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

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