New York: “Brindisi-Tenney House race shrouded in secrecy, confusion as campaigns battle over ballots”

Central New Yorkers who voted in one of the most competitive House races in the nation still don’t know the results 18 days after the election, whether their vote counted, or exactly what’s happening in a courtroom where the outcome may be decided next week.

Since the polls closed Nov. 3, the 22nd Congressional District election between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney has been shrouded in secrecy as lawyers for the campaigns fight behind the scenes over hundreds of absentee ballots that could tip the election.

Some counties declined to disclose updated absentee ballot counts this past week, or how many ballots have been disputed by the two campaigns.

It’s not even clear exactly how many votes separate Brindisi, D-Utica, and Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford. The two faced each other in a hotly contested rematch of a 2018 election that Brindisi won by about 4,400 votes….

On Friday, the judge met privately for about 90 minutes in an online video conference with lawyers for the Brindisi and Tenney campaigns. Lawyers and election officials for all eight counties, as well as reporters, were in a separate “virtual” room shut out from the judge’s conference.

When the judge emerged, he offered no explanation about what happened in the private meeting. DelConte said he would order disputed absentee and affidavit ballots to be delivered to his Oswego County courtroom on Monday for two days of review.

DelConte did not reveal how many ballots are in dispute. His law secretary, Eric Van Buren, said the judge would not agree to an interview, nor is a transcript available of the hearing.

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