GOP candidate in New York special election goes to court
May 24th, 2011
08:39 PM ET
3 years ago

GOP candidate in New York special election goes to court

(CNN) - Anticipating a very close race, the Republican candidate in New York's special election has put the wheels in motion for a potential hand count of certain ballots in the already-contentious race.

Jane Corwin's campaign filed a petition Tuesday and received a court order impounding all paper ballots pending a court proceeding that will begin no sooner than Thursday. The order doesn't impact the tally of votes cast by machine, but does protect the estimated 3,808 paper absentee ballots that could be key if the results show a narrow margin for either candidate.

The move is "very standard and very typical in close races," said Chris Grant, Jane Corwin's campaign manager. "When you're dealing with a race of this importance and magnitude, it's very important to make sure every vote is properly and legally counted."

"It is certainly standard in New York. It's a pretty standard play that's in the playbook of most campaigns regardless of affiliation," said Dennis Vacco, the Corwin campaign attorney. Vacco explained that the order sets up a process so that representatives of both campaigns can be present for the counting, and allows for a structured way to file objections to any special ballot with the court. Vacco added, "It really does protect everybody" in the process.

When asked about the court order Kathy Hochul's spokesman Fabien Levy said, "We're focused on getting every one of our voters out to the polls before they close."

If either candidate emerges a clear winner as the results come in, the court order could and would be lifted quickly.

Jane Corwin has been in a neck-and-neck battle with Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul for the congressional seat vacated by Republican Chris Lee. Lee resigned earlier this year after a shirtless picture that he sent to a woman other than his wife turned up on the internet. The race in western New York has been in the national spotlight because Democrats have tried to make the election a referendum on House Republican support of a budget plan that would dramatically change Medicare. They see the contest as an early test of their election strategy for the 2012 congressional races - branding the House Republican budget plan as a liability for Republican candidates.

National Republican leaders disagree that the close race centers on the issue of Medicare. They attribute the competitive race to the inclusion of the third-party candidate Jack Davis. He's running on the Tea Party line and is drawing support from both sides. Republicans charge that Davis is siphoning much-needed votes from Corwin.

Polls close in New York's 26th congressional district at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.


Filed under: House of Representatives • NY-26
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Tom Clay

    Yes We Can...!

    May 24, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  2. TEW

    Watch out for another Wisconsin vote count error fubarb. Republicans will employ some creative arithmatic or find uncounted voter ballots in a back room somewhere that favor their candidate. Koch bros will stop at nothing to return America to the early 19th century

    May 24, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Oh, of course there has to be some mistake, the Republicans gerrymandered this district, they are toast and they know it, look for some uncounted ballots to show up, they will stop at nothing. I don't trust them at all. Let the spin begin.

    May 24, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  4. Arkansas Undertaker

    Why is it that democrats have to be graceful losers and Republicans continue to beat a dead horse! Corwin Lost! she can try again in 2012!

    May 24, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  5. Aaron

    No telling how long it will be held up in court. Repubs are sore losers...and sore winners....they're just plain sore.

    May 24, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  6. ITALIAN NONNO

    Total bull, .. why not wait till the results are in,.. and then if it's extremely close, get the court involved. Typical Republican shenanigans,.. if we loose,.. we're gonna deprive you of the victory lap.

    May 25, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. America Shrugged

    LOL...And the GOP would lead us to believe that only Dems contest election results...This is just a sign of things to come next year.

    May 25, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  8. normajean

    Didn't the Republicans just pull this recount trick in Wisconsin???Wasn't that what the Republicans also did in Florida when George Bush was elected.??? Interesting but many people who question others honesty, have themselves reasons to be questioned!!!! The Repubs seem to have a fetish where recounts are concerned....I wonder WHY?????

    May 25, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  9. Bulet498

    Why is the repukes aways crying when they lose.

    May 25, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  10. Bito

    Goes to show, Repubicans are sore loosers, get over youselves.

    May 25, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  11. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America!

    Buh-bye, GOBP. You lied to America in 2010 and then broke your promises and betrayed our trust. Despite your words, we now know the Greedy Old Pigs care nothing about jobs or average Americans. We now know you are nothing but a bunch of faith-based cultists bowing to the false gods of deregulation and tax cuts for the filthy rich. You seek to destroy that which makes America great, like our social safety net, and instead return us to the days of dog-eat-dog corporate feudalism from the 1800s. We the citizens do not consent to your insanity and your attacks on the poor and working class.

    May 25, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  12. John

    Mrs. Corwin should just accept that she lost. Why spend $$$$ of tax payers dollars.

    May 25, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  13. John

    The Republican can't even lose without Complaining. I heard of bad loser but Republican take the cake.

    May 25, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  14. diridi

    Do these GOP idiots think Court would uphold People's verdict???? What a Pathetic. Court has no power against People's verdict in Democracy...wake up....o.k, Enough damaging by GOP thugs to the nation...o.k, you drained with Iraq war...do you know?????????????????????????????????

    May 25, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  15. annie s

    Gee, now Republicans demand recounts even before the election is over? Doesn't that cost taxpayers money?

    May 25, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
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