NY-20: Early Count Of Domestic Absentees Looks Good For Murphy

As the domestic absentee ballots begin to be counted in the NY-20 race, The Albany Project reports some good news for Scott Murphy.

Via PolitickerNY:

Murphy campaign spokesman Ryan Rudominer said that after Delaware County finished its count, Murphy had gained 20 votes. Tom Wade, chairman of the Rensselaer County Democratic Party, said that Murphy gained 10 total votes there, with 49 ballots unopened. (These include ballots from overseas citizens and military voters, which cannot be opened until April 13, and some ballots that were found objectionable by campaign staffers and laid aside.)

Virginia Martin, the Democratic elections commissioner in Columbia County, said Murphy gained 40 votes there today. That tally only includes absentee ballots - not emergency or affidavit ballots - and comprised seven election districts.

David Gamache, the Republican elections commissioner in Dutchess County, said Murphy picked up 13 votes there after counting ballots in the towns of Pine Plains, Amenia and Clinton.

It should be noted that on election day, Scott Murphy did win Columbia and Dutchess Counties but he lost Delaware County by 32 votes. This by no means seals any deal for Murphy, as many absentees have yet to be counted, including overseas and military ballots which may not be opened until next week. But this is certainly a good start.

There's more...

NY-20: Not A Good Day For Tedisco

First, came the news that Jim Tedisco would step down as minority leader of the New York State Assembly.

With an eye toward planning his transition to Congress, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco said Thursday he would resign his post of minority leader, effective next week. [...]

"I'll continue to serve and will be in the leadership role until Monday, when there will be a vote for new leadership. Then I'll be working on my transition and serving my Assembly district for the next few weeks," Tedisco said. "Then I believe we'll be off to Congress." [...]

"I loved working for the 110th (Assembly District), and it was a great honor to lead this conference, but now we need to get new leadership so I can focus on this congressional district," Tedisco said.

The article says Tedisco refused to claim victory but clearly he did everything but, conveniently ignoring the real reason for his stepping down:

An unhappy Republican conference is set to take action next week if Tedisco refuses to quit his Assembly leadership post, according to several insurgents who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ouch.

Now comes the news that a literal tie in the NY-20 race for congress has shifted dramatically in Democrat Scott Murphy's favor, giving Murphy an almost 200 vote lead. As The Albany Project reported earlier today:

I'm hearing from a tipster in Washington County that, due to a reporting error on election night that has now been rectified, Scott Murphy just picked up a net of 198 votes. Says the tipster, the news "took the wind right out" of the Republican observers.

Eric Kleefeld at TPM has confirmed this and writes:

English also confirmed that these numbers are more recent than the state's current figures. The process is still ongoing, with Washington County only about two-thirds of the way done double-checking the numbers from all their precincts, and other counties also still hard at work. We also have not yet seen any absentee ballots counted.

While 200 votes doesn't seem like a lot, in a race that's considered a virtual tie it's actually pretty huge for Murphy as they enter the absentee ballot counting phase next week.

There's more...

NY-20: Scott Murphy Up By 65 Votes

This is as close as they come. After all ballots cast today were counted, Democrat Scott Murphy prevailed by just 65 votes (77,344 to 77,279.) Next up: the counting of nearly 6,000 absentee ballots. Arjun has more:

Domestic absentee ballots have to be postmarked by today and received by April 7 in order to be counted, while overseas ballots (which are largely, but not exclusively military) will have until April 13 to be received.

Naturally, both candidates will assert that they'll have the edge among absentee ballots. No one's going to concede until every ballot is counted - and in all likelihood the election will be close enough that someone will ask for a recount.

DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen's statement (via e-mail):

"From 21 points down to securing a majority of the vote tonight, congratulations to Scott Murphy who ran an extraordinary campaign focused on his record as a successful businessman who helped to create jobs and his strong support for President Obama's economic recovery act.  As votes continue to be counted, we're confident that Scott Murphy will expand his lead.

"Scott Murphy's strong showing in this district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 70,000 represents a rejection of the obstructionist agenda and scare tactics that have become the hallmark of House Republicans."

You didn't want an actual result by the end of election night, did you?

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NY-20 Results Thread

Polls in New York close at 9pm Eastern as Republicans try to prevent the certification of Murphy no matter the margin.

The Albany Project has a couple election returns sources (here and here.) We'll bring the numbers to you as they come in. Also, I'll be updating on Twitter as well.

Should be getting the first results in in a couple of minutes...

607 out of 610 precincts reporting

Scott Murphy 50 (76,573 votes)
Jim Tedisco 50 (76,321 votes)

Update [2009-3-31 21:49:5 by Todd Beeton]:Tedisco's margin is under 1,000 votes.

Update [2009-3-31 21:57:33 by Todd Beeton]:Scott's now down by about 8001100 30

Update [2009-3-31 22:16:31 by Todd Beeton]:I gotta run out. This is as close as it gets. With about 6000 absentee ballots still to be counted, we won't have a result tonight. More later...

Update [2009-3-31 22:19:7 by Todd Beeton]:Scott Murphy pulls ahead for the first time.

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NY-20: Tedisco Text Message FAIL

I love stories of thwarted Republican attempts to merge politics and technology. Add this one to the hall of fame:

Niskayuna resident Clara Mehserle says she received a text message on her cell phone this morning that said: "Jim Tedisco needs your vote! Polls open until 9 p.m. YOUR VOTE MATTERS. Paid for by Tedisco for Congress."

One large problem: Mehserle doesn't live in the 20th Congressional district. She's a registered Democrat. And she thinks she'll have to pay for the message because it came from a phone system outside her Verizon network.

As a result, the substitute teacher said she called Murphy's headquarters in Clifton Park to volunteer going door to door today. She said she called Tedisco's headquarters and left a message about her complaint.

"I'm so ticked off by it," Mehserle said. "Why are they targeting Schenectady County residents?"

Why is the Tedisco campaign targeting Schenectady County residents with GOTV messages? Perhaps because Jim Tedisco himself is a Schenectady County resident. As a registered voter at his home in Glenville, NY, Tedisco lives outside of the district he's running for, which means he will not be able to vote for himself today.

FAIL on so many levels.

Update [2009-3-31 15:33:43 by Todd Beeton]:Mike Huckabee is urging Tedisco supporters to make 5 calls and donate $10. Way to shoot for the moon, Huck

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