NY-1 absentee count seesaw: Tim Bishop leads by 14, then down by 10 to Randy Altschuler, now up by 17 and it’ll be different by the end of the day

By Sam Foster

(Get UP TO DATE Results from our NY-1 LIVE BLOG)

The race in NY-1 is so close, that the leader has been changing back and forth all day and never above a double digit margin.

Tim Bishop started the day with a 14 vote lead as officials resumed counting the remaining precincts in Brookhaven, NY this morning.  By 10:30 am, NRO was reporting that Randy Altschuler had retaken the lead with 10 votes.  At noon, Time Beacon Record had Tim Bishop over Altschuler by 17.

I'll keep with the coverage and hopefully be able to provide you with the final situation at the end of the day.  

There are of course several other factors to consider:

First of all, Randy Altschuler has challenged far more ballots than Tim Bishop.  The Bishop campaign claims that most, if not all, these challenges will be overturned in court.

More significant than the slim lead is the growing disparity in the number of ballots challenged, said Schneider, who Monday noon put those numbers at 797 challenges by Altschuler and 567 challenges by Bishop. Schneider expects most of the challenges to be dismissed eventually and the ballots added to the candidates' respective totals.


Randy Altschuler claims that he carried 91% of the Brookhaven precincts on Election Day.  Thus the final precincts to be counted could be Altschuler votes.

Finally, there is supposed to be a bit of recanvassing completed today and could send some votes one way or another.

Check back for more updates…

Update: 4:30 pm: News Day reports at 3 pm, Bishop had expanded lead to 69 votes.

Rep. Tim Bishop's lead over Randy Altschuler has increased to 69 votes in absentee ballot counting, Altschuler spokesman Rob Ryan tells us.

The lead comes as elections officials embarked on a 3 p.m. break. Officials have counted absentee ballots from 274 of 460 election districts and have 3,683 ballots left to count.


Update 4:52 pm: More information from News Day on the ballot numbers. Please notice, according to records, there are more outstanding Republican ballots, but Randy Altschuler also has more challenges. This race is just about as dead even as it can get.

Board of Elections officials say they will not comment on vote counts until workers have completed the absentee ballot count. There remain 3,683 uncounted absentee ballots remaining, all from Brookhaven Town, which Bishop won on Election Day by 156 votes out of 115,926 cast.

Of the remaining ballots, 1,476 come from Republicans, 1,370 come from Democrats and 756 come from voters unaffiliated with a political party, Altschuler spokesman Rob Ryan said. Officials have completed counting absentee ballots from 274 of 460 election districts.


Update 8:47 pm: final count of the day, Tim Bishop takes 206 vote lead. At this point it seems likely that Tim Bishop is going to pull away with the win, regardless of the challenged ballots.

Via Riverhead local
:

At the end of the fifth day of counting absentee ballots, Rep. Tim Bishop has pulled ahead of challenger Randy Altschuler by 206 votes, according to his spokesman Jon Schneider.

Schneider said 125 election districts, all in the Town of Brookhaven, remain to be counted. He said it looks like the count will be finished up by the end of the day tomorrow.

Elections workers have 1,912 ballots left to count, Schneider said.


By these numbers, Randy Altschuler would need to take about 61% of the vote just to break even. Certainly not impossible, but less likely in a race that is tracking so close. Also, that is what he needs to pull even, that doesn't include gaining enough ballots to win.

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