By Tom Precious
ALBANY – An overnight analysis by Republicans of yesterday’s paper ballot counting in Ulster County suggests today has to be an extraordinarily good day if Democrat Cecilia Tkacyzk is to catch up to GOP candidate George Amedore.
Amedore spokesman Kris Thompson said Tkacyzk won 68 percent of the city of Kingston in Ulster County on election day, but that on Monday she captured just 61 percent of the absentee and affidavit ballots election lawyers counted from what amounts to two-thirds of the city.
Ulster is the final of five counties where paper ballots are being counted – with work possibly done today depending on how late into the night work goes – to decide the fate of the winner of the 46th Senate seat. Who wins that seat will determine the partisan control of the state Senate. “She is underperforming based on yesterday’s results,’’ said Thompson.
He said the Democrat will need to get 80 percent of the remaining three wards in Kingston, the only city in Ulster County, to have her paper ballot performance for the city do as well – percentage-wise – as her election night results. Counting is already underway this morning and Amedore is up about 700 votes over Tkacyzk.
Democrats on Monday evening said she won 837 paper ballots out of 1,453 counted on Monday. They added that of the 200 objections to specific paper ballots – which will then later this week be brought to a judge to rule whether those votes will be counted – 184 were made by Republicans. They allege the ballot challenge by Republicans is an intentional strategy to slow down the counting process and to try to keep Democratic votes from being counted.
Democrats say the contest will not be decided in Ulster County today, but before a state judge in Montgomery County later this week who will end up ordering that ballots Republican lawyers are putting aside at the election board counting tables to be cast as qualified votes. At that point, Democrats insist, their candidate should be able to pull ahead of Amedore.