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Lead in contest narrows

Saturday, December 15, 2012 - Updated: 6:29 PM

By HEATHER NELLIS

Recorder News Staff

FONDA -- With ballots counted Friday from four of the five counties that make up the 46th state Senate District, Republican George Amedore Jr. held his lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, though it was pared down to 47 votes.

After weeks of battling the issue in Montgomery County Supreme Court, all that's left in Justice Guy P. Tomlinson's review of the race is 133 ballots from Greene County that have to be counted Monday.

But that won't likely mark the end of the court battle -- Tkaczyk Spokesman Gary Ginsburg indicated an appeal of Tomlinson's ballot judgments is on the horizon.

"This counting is far from over. There are still hundreds of outstanding objections that have to be ruled on by the Appellate [Division]," he said in a statement. "When all the votes are counted Cecilia Tkaczyk will be certified the winner of this election."

Amedore's campaign remained confident. "As we've been since election night, we remain confident that George Amedore will be the winner in this race. We are nearing the end of this lengthy process and George looks forward to working on behalf and in the best interests of the great people in this senate district," said campaign spokesman Kris Thompson.

Ginsburg said the outstanding objections include hundreds of affidavit ballots that were thrown out because of what he deemed "minor errors." He also pointed to ballots cast by election inspectors that voted early at the instruction of both Republican and Democratic election commissioners in Ulster County.

Tomlinson on Friday told the attorneys he agreed with the court-appointed referees' ruling on the latter objections, in which poll workers voted by special ballots made available to those assigned to polling sites other than their own. In some cases, those workers submitted their ballots more than a month early under the advice of Commissioners Tom Turco and Vic Work.

Tomlinson indicated he may in some way "chastise" Turco and Work for their "misleading advice." The judge deemed the situation "frustrating," and noted he felt compelled to send a message.

"The poll workers have to comply with the election laws because they're the people who ensure we comply with them," Tomlinson said.

Of the 133 Greene County votes left to count, 65 were disputed by Amedore's attorneys, 68 by Tkaczyk's attorneys.

Amedore won Greene County by nearly 3,000 votes on election night, according to uncertified results on the county's website.

Ballots from Schenectady, Montgomery and Albany counties were processed in Montgomery County Supreme Court Friday; Ulster County's ballots at the election board in Kingston.

Amedore went into Friday's proceeding with an 111 vote lead, and picked up another 97. Tkaczyk gained 161 votes, most of them in Ulster County.

     

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