GOP candidate in New York special election goes to court
May 24th, 2011
08:39 PM ET
7 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. ATL Guy

    She got lawyered up before she even lost.......

    May 24, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Publius Novus

    This is a typical GOP move. When you lose, you allege voting fraud.

    May 24, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Shannon

    Why can't Republicans ever just lose gracefully, they always have to be the victims of something.

    May 24, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. Discernment

    Really? . . . . Really, Jane Corwin? . . . . Do really want to go there?

    May 24, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Its interesting that her attorney is the former state attorney general. Dennis Vacco was unable to get a second term because he was unable to defend the interests of the people of the state of NY. He spent more time protecting groups like Operation Rescue, a group he has been supporting in word and deed for over 2 decades. Jane Corwin is a Trojan Horse candidate for the GOP, who will be a reliable vote to gut Medicare and repalce it with a voucher program that would not even begin to cover any stay in the ER for anything worse than a hangnail. Make no mistake, Corwin has to be stopped.

    May 24, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    jane, jane, jane, listen to what your tea bagging AK #2 queen says, man up, grow a pair, take a defeat, if it comes to that, like a man!

    May 24, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Here we go again...if Republicans can't win they cheat or do whatever they can to change the results of an election. They are corrupt, dishonest, and treasonous towards our way of government.
    We should not be electing ANY more Republicans in 2012. They are destructive to America, our Democracy, are already passing laws for voter suppression to keep Democratic voters from voting. They know they are going to be beaten in landslides across the nation.


    Let's hope the courts deny this Republican attempt to steal another election. What slimeballs.

    May 24, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Just watching the voting . . . . . davis (a tea bagger) getting in the way of the rethug possibly winning. 14% in 46 for jane who doesn't like losing, 43 percent for Hochul and 10% for the spoiler tea bagger.

    May 24, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Wise1Speak


    Why would Jane request court interference unless she believes that she will need a GOP friend in NY-26 Courts to steal the election on her behalf? Sounds like one of Jane's precinct-spies gave her the heads-up that she could be in trouble. Much like in 2000 when George Bush had his brother come through for him in Florida’s courts.

    May 24, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. James Chirico

    Hochul leads 48-42 with 19% of precincts in. It won't matter about paper ballots Corwin will concede tonight. This is a national referendum on the Ryan medicare cuts in his budget. Sen. Brown has done a 180 on the issue.

    May 24, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. John/kc

    A republican win is another nail in the coffin of Medicare.

    May 24, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    That should give her time to get Dubya's program that generates enough "found ballots day after tomorrow" to be able to yell obscenities at the dems.

    If the republicans want to kill Medicare when they have the house, IMAGINE WHAT THEY WOULD PUSH THRU IF THEY HAD THE SENATE ALSO. It would definitely be more than Granny.

    Republicans are corporate FASCISTS.

    May 24, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. Anonymous


    May 24, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  14. Marc

    LOL! Take that tea baggerz,

    May 24, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Michelle

    I think republicans should just continue on with the denials about medicare – take that denial right on through 2012.

    May 24, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. BIll

    Thank you, Paul Ryan and your ridiculous plan for Medicare. 24 seats to go for 2012, folks.

    May 24, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  17. Jay- Dallas

    Goes to show all the money in the world can't buy elections when you start messing with medicare! I bet this will wake the Republicans up!

    May 24, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  18. Suman

    Just now learnt that the Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul has established unbeatable lead over the Republican Candidate Jane Corwin. Congratulations to Kathy Hochul and all those who helped her to win. It might be a standard practice in New York to litigate end results and harass the winning candidate. But at the time of the next election people do remember such instances and also remember who was responsible.

    May 24, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. Dave

    So it begins. Also watch the recall elections in Wisconsin. The Republican Party is about to be frog-marched out of Washington DC.

    May 24, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. paul

    Let me guess: A Republican precinct worker just found 100,000 extra votes, all for the Republican. She came in from Wisconsin to run the precinct for this election!!!!!!!

    May 24, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    These Republicans are whiners ...

    May 24, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. BlueDem1

    Excellent! One of the nation's most conservative districts has made it clear that sacrificing Medicare for continued tax cuts on the wealthiest 2% and subsidies for oil companies is NOT acceptable. Glad to see some common sense prevailed to day in NY-26.

    May 24, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. Emmitt Langley

    Obviously democrat fundraiser Jack Davis has done the usual democrat schtick of misleading the American people...pretending to be a Tea Party Patriot when he nothing more than a democrat money man.

    May 24, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. smum

    Will some "lost" votes for the loser republican candidate be found in some republican operative's computer like those that showed up in Wisconsin? OMG, the republicans are at it again.

    May 24, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  25. Fred


    May 24, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
1 2