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What happens next in the race for NY-22

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Brindisi, Tenney

(WBNG) -- The immediate future of New York's 22nd congressional district will be decided on Monday.

Oswego County Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte ruled Friday that representatives of each of the eight Board of Elections will need to appear in his courtroom beginning at 9 a.m., along with lawyers from the Claudia Tenney (R) campaign, and the Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) campaign. Tenney currently leads Brindisi by a couple hundred votes in one of the closest congressional races in the country.

During Monday's proceedings, Justice DelConte will rule over the fates of at least 2,696 ballots. For a link to see the court order mandating this process, click here.

These ballots fall into four categories: ballots where a campaign has challenged their legality, and that challenge was sustained by elections commissioners; ballots that were challenged and the challenge was unsustained by the commissioners; ballots that were rejected for administrative reasons by the commissioners; and finally, in the case of Oswego County, 73 overseas and military ballots that have not yet been touched at all.

The challenged ballots have already been included in the county's vote totals; if the challenge is successful, the vote will be subtracted from the total. The opposite is true for the administrative rejections, which have not been included in the counts. If those rejections are overruled by Justice DelConte, they would need to be added, or "installed", in the final count.

While these proceedings take place, the counties will simultaneously be certifying their election results; in other words, the BOEs are recounting all of the votes to ensure they have the correct totals. Once the totals have been certified, the results will be official.

"The state's giving us until November 28th to certify our results, but right now we're going through and making sure all the ballots that were issued match all the ballots that were tallied," said Mark Smith, the Broome County Board of Elections Republican Elections Commissioner. "(We're) pretty much doing all the canvassing and recanvassing that we need to do in order to certify our results."

Once the results are certified, and if the margin remains razor-thin, there is the possibility of a recount. Smith said there are two ways for a recount to happen, both controlled by the courts: if the judge personally determines there is sufficient reason for a recount to occur or one of the candidates petitions for a recount on the basis of irregularities in the vote.

Smith said his department is familiar with the recount process, having just gone through it last year in the district attorney's race when Libertarian candidate Michael Korchak (a registered member of the Republican party) defeated Republican Paul Battisti in a race that involved a recount.

A new bill passed this year by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will mandate an automatic recount for any race whose margin is either 20 votes or less, or is within half a percentage point. However, because the law does not go into effect until January, this election will not be subjected to an automatic recount.

Josh Rosenblatt

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