(Nov. 23) A judge trying to decide the results of a congressional race in New York said something Monday that could apply to all systems of widespread mail-in voting.

“We have a serious problem on our hands,” said Oswego County Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte, who is ruling which ballots to admit or reject in the tight race between Republican former Rep. Claudia Tenney and current Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

Yes, he does have a serious problem, one entirely predictable when mail-in voting is prevalent.

Tenney was first elected to the seat from New York’s 22nd Congressional District, upstate, in 2016, but Brindisi ousted her in 2018 by a margin of less than 2%. After the initial, full count in this year’s rematch finally was completed, Tenney led by a mere 106 votes — but several thousand absentee ballots remained that had been disputed by one side or the other, many of them having been rejected as invalid by the bipartisan election board. DelConte ruled on Nov. 20 that he should directly examine each of the disputed ballots, and he began doing so on Monday.

That’s where the biggest problem, albeit only one of many problems, arose. It turns out that election commissioners in one of the district’s counties, Oneida, can’t say for sure whether some of the ballots DelConte is reexamining were included in the original count. In other words, even though the ballots were set aside due to anomalies, some of them may have been tallied already.

Well… Uh-oh!

Now, DelConte can’t know if he is invalidating ballots already counted, meaning they should be subtracted from the vote total, or validating ballots that were previously uncounted, meaning they should be added to the total. Or both. Or neither. Thus, aside from all the other controversies in this district’s ballot-counting, it’s not even clear what the result would be no matter how the judge rules on each question of law and of fact.

This comes on top of multiple other problems with New York’s system…..

[The full column is here.]


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