The fate of 39 absentee ballots in the election between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney is up in the air after election officials admitted in court today that they lost sticky notes attached to some of the ballots.
Oneida County’s election commissioners told state Supreme Court Justice Scott J. DelConte that the color-coded notes explained how the ballots were handled and whether they were counted.
The ballots could be important in deciding the winner of the 22nd Congressional District election, one of three remaining undecided House races in the nation.
Tenney, a Republican from New Hartford, leads Brindisi, D-Utica, by somewhere betwene 100 and 300 votes, according to unofficial returns from eight counties in the district.
Oneida and Oswego counties have not made their final ballot counts public, leading to confusion over how many votes separate the candidates.
DelConte asked each of the eight counties in the district to securely deliver hundreds of disputed absentee and affidavit ballots to his Oswego courtroom today, beginning a process that could ultimately determine who wins the election.
It became clear early in the hearing with Oneida County officials that DelConte and the candidates’ attorneys were confused about certain ballots and the way the county’s elections commissioners organized them.