NY-20: Team Tedisco Challenged Kirsten Gillibrand's Ballot
by Todd Beeton, Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 12:35:22 PM EDT
Up in NY-20, much as in Minnesota, the Republican attempts at cherry picking which ballots should count and which should not has gotten pretty out of hand. First they went after those insidious college students. You won't be surprised to learn that in their defense, they're invoking the f-word (via TAP):
The Tedisco campaign is now also challenging ballots of students who come from outside the 20th Congressional District, many of whom attend Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
Yesterday, Republicans began objecting systematically to absentee ballots cast by voters who maintain second homes in some of the southern parts of the district, and Saratoga County Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman called late last night to say that several of the student ballots were being challenged on grounds that the students improperly claimed residency within the district.
"It's ridiculous-these same students voted with no problem in November," Bulman said. He did not have a specific number of student ballots that were challenged.
James Walsh, an attorney representing Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, said yesterday, "What we're doing is trying to prevent fraud."
So what's their reasoning, one wonders, behind challenging Senator Gillibrand's ballot.
This is getting out of control. Word from Columbia County is that when US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's absentee ballot came up to be counted, the Tedisco camp objected. No, really. I am not making that up. Why on earth would they object to a legal resident of the district's ballot? A legal resident, not to metion FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN REPRESENTING NY-20 AND CURRENT SITTING SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK?
This just in from Columbia County: when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's absentee ballot came up in the queue, the poll watchers for Jim Tedisco objected to it, saying the senator was in the county on election day and should have voted in person.
Democracy by loophole: it's the Republican way.
It should be noted that this is all happening as Scott Murphy expands his lead to 56 votes.
Update [2009-4-14 17:36:52 by Todd Beeton]:Statement from Senator Gillibrand's office (via e-mail):
The Republicans challenge is frivolous and without merit. This is part of their larger attempt to disenfranchise legal Democratic voters and delay the inevitable Democratic victory in the 20th. Every day that the national Republicans waste with their dishonest stalling tactics is another day Upstate New Yorkers are deprived their Member of Congress. Senator Gillibrand looks forward to working with Scott Murphy in Congress to support President Obama plans to turn this economy around and create good paying jobs.
NYS election law says that an elector must intend to be out of the COUNTY on Election Day when the elector submits the absentee ballot or requests the application.
Senator Gillibrand requested and completed an absentee ballot because she did not expect to be able to vote at her polling location since votes were scheduled in the Senate that day. Furthermore, Republican claims that she was in the county are false. She was not in Columbia County on Election Day.