By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Here is the latest update from the Ulster County elections board where counting of paper ballots continue in the race between Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkacyzk in the contest that will decide which party controls the state Senate come January.
According to Democrats at about 5 p.m., Amedore’s lead has been cut to just 322 votes. That's down from a difference of nearly 720 before the final round of paper ballot counting began Monday in the last of five counties in the newly drawn Senate district.
That new district stretches from the Mohawk Valley west of Amsterdam to the Mid-Hudson Valley across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie.
Republicans this evening put Amedore’s lead at 374 votes.
But Democrats claim the fight – if counting is finished tonight in Kingston in Ulster County – will be on to the courts where lawyers will battle before a judge later this week over contested paper ballots. [Those are the ones not counted – and there are hundreds of them – for any variety of election law reasons.]
Democrats say the GOP lawyers so far have objected to 500 paper ballots in the count of absentee and affidavit votes from the November 6 election. That means, they happily note, that the number of ballots still to be counted – if a state judge rules in favor of Democrats – is more than the lead Amedore holds over Tkacyzk. That, Democrats think, gives them a shot; Republicans earlier today were dismissive of Democratic optimism and were still predicting Amedore's victory. [Of the 500 ballots contested by election lawyers over the past week in the different county election boards in the 46th Senate district, Democrats say all but 158 came from GOP lawyers.]
One note: tonight’s numbers do not yet include paper ballots cast in Ulster County’s Woodstock – a community hardly known for right-leaning ways.