Absentee ballot count continues in New York House race

Published 11-16-2018

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ROME, N.Y. (AP) - Democrat Anthony Brindisi expanded his lead over first-term incumbent Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney on Friday as an absentee ballot count continued in a tight congressional race in central New York.

Brindisi led Tenney by 1,293 votes before officials in the eight counties of New York's 22nd Congressional District began tallying more than 14,000 absentee and military ballots Wednesday. He had increased his lead to more than 3,000 votes by Friday afternoon, according to unofficial results from five counties. Three counties have yet to finish.

An Oneida County elections commissioner said the county's tally of 4,182 ballots will continue next week. Brindisi carried that county by less than 2 percentage points on Election Day. Chenango County started counting 1,153 ballots Friday morning. Tioga County, with 203 ballots, hadn't reported results late Friday afternoon.

A separate count continues in western New York, where Republican Rep. Chris Collins led Democratic challenger Nate McMurray by fewer than 3,000 votes on election night.

The count in the Brindisi-Tenney race started a day after the campaigns reached an agreement in court setting rules for the process. Under the deal, the board of elections in each county allowed a representative from each campaign to be present for the counting process.

Tenney campaign attorney Paul DerOhannesian said the results are scheduled to be certified by Dec. 3.

In western New York's 27th District, Collins is seeking re-election while awaiting trial on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI. He has pleaded not guilty. There are more than 10,000 absentee ballots being counted across the eight counties in that district.

The outcome of the race could become clear Nov. 20 when Erie County becomes the last of the counties to count its absentee ballots. The county, the largest in the district, has about half of the total absentee ballots cast.

Collins is scheduled to be tried in February 2020 on charges accusing him of leaking confidential information about a biopharmaceutical company that allowed his son and others to avoid huge stock losses.

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