By Sam Foster
While Ann Marie Buerkle has emerged with the lead at the end of NY-25's absentee vote count, NY-1 is a much, much closer race. According to both campaign's Tim Bishop has a slim 14 vote lead that he claimed over the weekend.
However, the Altschuler campaign claims that Bishop strong holds were the first districts to be counted and so, his gain in the vote count is expected. The real battle lies ahead as election officials begin to review Brookhaven ballots.
Altschuler currently trails Bishop by 14 votes with 5,004 ballots (43.7% of absentee/affidavit) left to be counted. The remaining ballots are from Election Districts located in the Town of Brookhaven. Altschuler won 91% of those Election Districts on Election Day.
Also germane to the vote count are the number of ballots being disputed. Tim Bishop has attacked the number of disputed ballots from Randy Altschuler. The Altschuler is now clarifying as to what challenges are being made from each of the campaigns.
380 of the challenges by the Altschuler legal team are related to the residency of the voter. Many of them are focused on individuals who have multi-million dollar summer homes in the Hamptons but, who actually live and work in Manhattan. 46 of the challenges are on Affidavit Ballots were related to individuals who appear not to be registered to vote in the Congressional District.
Many of the Bishop campaign's 496 ballot challenged appear frivolous or an attempt to deprive pro Altschuler individuals of their vote. For example 52 of their challenges (10%) were directed at individuals who received absentee ballots because they were working as Election Inspectors, employed by the Suffolk County Board of Elections and because of that work unable to vote in their home districts. In addition, another 12% were based on invalid ballot markings meaning a large number of these challenges will be dismissed.
According to the press, the absentee ballot count could go on until as late as Wednesday. The thing to keep your eye on is whether the Altschuler camp claims they've retaken the lead today or early tomorrow.