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Counting resumes today in Senate ballot dispute

Friday, December 14, 2012 - Updated: 6:30 PM

By HEATHER NELLIS

Recorder News Staff

The Third Department of state Supreme Court's Appellate Division on Thursday denied George Amedore Jr.'s attorney's request to hold off on opening and counting ballot envelopes in the 46th state Senate District election.

That means all ballots with objections that were withdrawn or overruled under the jurisdiction of Montgomery County acting Supreme Court Justice Guy P. Tomlinson will be opened by Monday, altering tallies for Amedore and opponent Cecilia Tkaczyk that have been static for weeks.

Currently, Amedore has an 111 vote lead, but Tomlinson has validated about 350 of the 887 disputed ballots, and roughly 100 of the objections were withdrawn, so about 450 ballots will be opened and counted.

Ballots from Schenectady, Montgomery and Albany counties will be opened in Montgomery County Supreme Court in Fonda today, while Ulster County's will be counted at the Board of Elections in Kingston under the jurisdiction of two court-appointed referees. Greene County ballots will be opened in court in Fonda Monday.

Tomlinson has ordered that following the opening of ballot envelopes, he will hear the objections to the ballots by the attorneys or the respective boards of election, and rule immediately whether they are valid, and then they will be counted.

The same will occur in Ulster County before the referees, according to Tomlinson's orders.

Tomlinson ordered that the envelopes be shuffled and placed in a container so that all voter identification that appears on the envelopes will not be viewed, and they will then be randomly drawn one at a time, and placed face down in another container.

The ballots will then be removed from the envelope and photocopied, so any objections can be recorded on the copy. Disputed ballots will be resealed, and only then will the next envelope be randomly pulled.

This procedure will continue until all envelopes ordered to be opened and processed have been counted.

Amedore Spokesman Kris Thompson said Thursday the team is looking forward to the ballot counting in the days ahead.

"We expect that George Amedore will maintain his current lead, and when the race is concluded, he will be the senate representative for this five-county district," Thompson said.

     

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