By Sam Foster
Yesterday, I was able to report some good news from NY-25 as Ann Marie Buerkle emerged from the Onondaga County absentee vote with a commanding 411 vote lead. However, in NY-1, Democrat incumbent Tim Bishop is reporting that he's reclaimed the lead by 15 votes over Randy Altschuler. A local paper has the details.
According to Jon Schneider, a spokesman for Congressman Tim Bishop, the Southampton native has taken a narrow lead over his Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, as absentee ballots continue to be counted in the tight race for the First Congressional District seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Schneider said that at the close of Friday, the fourth day the Suffolk County Board of Elections has spent counting close to 11,000 absentee and affidavit ballots, Bishop leads by a mere 15 votes. Bishop was originally named the unofficial winner of the race on Election Day with an over 3,500 vote lead on Altschuler, but after new electronic voting machines, used for the first time in a general election in Suffolk County, were reread at the board of elections, Altschuler nabbed a 383-vote lead on Bishop.
Schneider added that Altschuler has made a number of challenges on absentee ballots filed in favor of Bishop, 212 more than Bishop has made against voters supporting Altschuler. Schneider said his camp is comfortable many of the objections by Altschuler will not be upheld giving the incumbent a greater lead.
It's far too early to count Randy Altschuler out. According to Altschuler's press release, the Bishop's lead has more to do with the districts that were counted first:
To-date, gains by Bishop in the absentee ballot count can be attributed to the fact that Bishop's hometown of Southampton had 328 more absentee ballots than the Town of Smithtown. These two communities were the first in the Congressional District to be counted, in a process that commenced Tuesday at the Suffolk County Board of Elections in Yaphank.
I'll be sure to keep you updated as the count continues next week.