April 15th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
13 years ago

Gillibrand: GOP stooping to 'new low' over ballot challenge

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/15/art.gillibrand.gi.jpg caption="Gillibrand said the GOP is stooping to a 'new low.'"](CNN) - New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand accused Republicans of stooping to a "new low" Wednesday amid reports GOP lawyers have challenged her ballot in the election to name her successor in the state's 20th congressional district.

"Their latest move to challenge my ballot is part of a much larger attempt to disenfranchise legal Democratic voters and delay Scott Murphy's inevitable victory in the 20th," she said in a op-ed on the Huffington Post.

The Albany Times Union first reported on Tuesday lawyers for Republican Jim Tedisco objected to Gillibrand's absentee ballot because the senator was in the district on Election Day.

Thousands of absentee ballots remain to be counted in the special election called to fill the congressional seat vacated by Gillibrand when she was appointed to the Senate. As of Tuesday, Tedisco trails by just under 50 votes.

A spokeswoman for Gillibrand said the senator requested an absentee ballot because she did not expect to be able to vote at her polling location because Senate votes were scheduled that day.

"The Republican's challenge is frivolous and without merit," said Gillibrand spokeswoman Bethany Lesser in a statement to CNN.

Lesser also noted New York state law allows a voter to request an absentee ballot if he or she has an expectation to be absent on Election Day. State law further says a voter must intend to be outside of their home county on election day, not the congressional district as a whole. Though Gillibrand was in the 20th congressional district on the evening of Election Day, she did not enter her home county, Lesser said.

Lawyers for Tedisco have not returned CNN's request for comment.

Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. Dave

    The GOP motto: If first you don't succeed, cheat, cheat, cheat.

    April 15, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Bob the Observer

    This is to make her look more like a Democrat, right? Most people think she's a Republican.

    April 15, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. sunnydee

    What is the "issue" here? So, she requested an absentee ballot and because of a change in her schedule, she actually was present on that day.

    She voted once, not twice. It doesn't matter which ballot she used.

    Repubs – Please, please try and find something of substance to complain about. The entire party is made to look ridiculous with this sort of petty mud throwing.

    April 15, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. vr-conspiracy

    As a Republican, I agree with the Democrat on this one.

    April 15, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Big Al

    Truly amazing that political dissent as allowed by the Constitution of this great nation is now viewed as anti-American since the chosen one was elected.

    April 15, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. HJA

    I used an absentee ballot because my mother was close to death. As it turned out she passed before election day. Since I was in town that day, according to the GOP my ballot shouldn't count? Just another reason I'll never vote GOP again. What idiots.

    April 15, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Lisa

    I see the GOP dittoheads are out spreading myths on the boards again. Get over it. Obama's the president. The GOP is in freefall.

    April 15, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. James

    Fight fire with fire? Remember that Obama won his first Ill senate election by filling objections to the nominating petitions and had all four candidates disqualified for errors and signature issues. He ran unopposed and won!

    April 15, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. phoenix86

    The republicans would not have this problem if they just hired ACORN like the democrats do.

    April 15, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. chris

    last i heard, about a dozen counties sent out absentee ballots to miltary personnel in early march. they were due back march 30th. ever get mail in a forward area? since 75% of these ballots would come back republican...well, now do the math.

    i really think it's just a matter of democrats being better at stealing elections then republicans.

    April 15, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. David in San Diego

    I won't know what to think until I hear from Sarah Palin on this issue. Then I'll know!!

    April 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Common Sense

    " ... t political dissent as allowed by the Constitution of this great nation is now viewed as anti-American since the chosen one was elected..."

    Ha ha ha ... another feeble attempt to rewrite history by the dysfunctional GOP! How comfortable to forget that the whole Bush administration was based on "if you're not with us, you're against us" – and by "us" he meant the GOP! Any dissent or questions were labeled "unAmerican!" That's one reason for all the illegal wiretaps...

    April 15, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Chi Town

    New York Chicagoan:

    He went to court and kept names off the ballot... prior to the vote.

    Little D:

    They counted 300 from one urban district... and kept an additional 1300 out.

    April 15, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Aviate

    Let's see if I get this right, in Minnesota, Republicans are screaming to high heaven about "voter disenfranchisement" because obviously fraudulent and/or invalid absentee votes have been excluded (after THREE reviews) from the Senate race.

    At the same time, in NY-20, they're trying to exclude votes that were clearly cast in accordance with the law.

    And let's not forget 2000, when the GOP & 5 Republican justices turned the law & the Constitution into knots to prevent a recount in Florida that was being conducted according to state law.

    Of course, it all makes sense when you realize that the Republicans now screaming about "voter disenfranchisement" in Minnesota earlier tried to exclude tens of thousands of ballots, many of which were valid, because they thought it would help their candidate. They literally changed their tune once they found out they were going to lose.

    Hence it is clear, the only principle that Republicans stand for is this–whatever helps us win is right, whatever doesn't is wrong. Your right to vote only matters if you're on their side.

    I'm beginning to think that Robert Mugabe runs fairer elections than the GOP.

    April 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. BJ

    Rules to demoncrats are something to be broken, kinda like taxes are something to be evaded...

    April 15, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Mark R., Milwaukee WI

    A pathetic move by the repubs, but COMPLETELY believable

    April 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12