April 15th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
12 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. Chi Town

    This is too funny...

    This is exactly how Bammer got elected to the Senate. He took the ballots to court and won without a contest.

    Oh... the new hypocracy of the Democrat Party is just staggering!

    April 15, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Chi Town

    Oh... and I should mention.

    Funny how Minn ballots don't get to count... according to Stewart Smally... especially when the majority are military... That's nice!

    April 15, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. chris

    GOP and voter suppression? say it isn't so!

    April 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Brian Crooks

    Yeah, this was beyond low. To challenge the absentee ballot of a sitting member of the Senate, and the person who used to hold that particular House seat is reprehensible. Should we now visit the home of every person who voted absentee and require them to submit an alibi as to there whereabouts on election day? THIS IS WHY PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THE GOP.

    April 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Ray

    The Republicans are practicing that age-old dictum: If you can't blind them with brilliance, baffle them with BS!

    April 15, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    and this is supposed to be somthing new??? It's called GOP tactics...voter suppression either by clogging up phone lines for information or placing their storm troopers outside polling places.

    April 15, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Baze

    The G.O.P. really is turning into a party of whiners

    April 15, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Kathy R

    Republicans think because they were able to unlawfully steal the 2000 presidential election they can do it every time the vote is close. Problem is the public knows all about their dirty tricks now and they are much less likely to get away with it. I sure doesn't help their public image to be such sore looser all the time.

    April 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    When dont the GOP Stoop to new Lows?

    April 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Rob

    She may consider it a new low for the GOP, but this is standard operating procedure for the Dems.

    April 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    There's no low that the GOP can't reach. They're dispicable.

    April 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Tom C in NY

    Tedisco is a disgrace, an expert political hack from the cesspools of Albany (my state capitol) and this little episode of trying to steal an election, with heavy assistance from the National Republican Party, proves what a disgrace he truly is.

    April 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Libertarian

    She's a citizen of the US....let her vote be counted and stop this insanity. Democracy is slowly being handed over to the lawyers in an effort to selectively chose who can vote.


    April 15, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Unbelievable.... how can any moral person call himself/herself a Republican? They are shameless and ruthless. Talk about the Somali pirates! They have nothing on the GOP!

    April 15, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    If people keep in mind that for the Republicans to win they need to keep the regular folks from voting by any means necessary so voter suppression, intimidation and other tricks are the rule of the day. Republicans only represent about 30% of the country. How else will they ever win outside of the South? We have to remain alert and not allow this to continue or else we'll get more George Bush's in the future at all levels of government.

    April 15, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Scott AZ

    Sounds like the GOP is taking taking a page out of the DNC dirty tricks book and using it against Gillibrand.

    April 15, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. randyman

    New York needs to loosen up. In Arizona, absentee ballots are encouraged. In fact, people can be placed on a permanent mail-in ballot list. There are no restrictions on whether you intend to be in your home district or anything like that. One third of Arizona voters voted by mail in ballot. That made it a lot easier on the polling places for those who voted in person.

    April 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. obama/mama

    Republican party very scary and dangerous folks.

    April 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. katiec

    The republicans have totally lost it!
    Have never in my life seen such ridiculous actions by politicians.
    Are they not reading the polls? Are they not able to realize that
    the American people are sick of their hypocrasy, dirty tactics?
    Their party first, politics as usual and anything to win have made
    our political system the laughing stock of the world.

    April 15, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. Gracie

    This is absolutely ABSURD. The GOP has nothing better to do than cause CHAOS and OBSTRUCTION.

    Can you say predictable? This is proof of DESPERATION by the GOP. They have NO leaders, NO solutions, NO message, NO NOTHING.

    SO WHAT DO THEY DO? They go around making themselves look even MORE foolish and incompetent EVERY DAY. It's something stupid every day.

    This will insure their DEFEAT in 2010 and 2012.


    April 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Jessica

    Perhaps this can be a springboard for a larger discussion on reforming how we vote. The huge lines on election day – a tuesday when people have to work – is reason alone why someone should be able to vote absentee ballot if they so choose.

    Making it HARDER for people to vote doesnt make sense to me – we should be encouraging everyone to vote – and finding ways to make that possible despite our hectic lives now days.

    But this singluar issue – I hope republicans get burnt on this, it shows yet again that the republicans are trying to suppress voter turnout – not encourage it!

    April 15, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. rachel

    What a waste of time

    April 15, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. wackoae

    People need to learn how to read. She was in her home state, at her home county and yet she asked for an absentee ballot.

    Personally, I would not care if she voted by colored pebble .... but she is trying to keep absentee ballots from being counted (when she is only ahead by 50 votes), so the fact that she is tecnically violating the absentee ballot rules is 100% fair gain

    April 15, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Mel

    I agree. I'm tired of the trouble the Republicans keep causing. Why are these people in power at all? Why is it evena question as to whether they should be in power? It doesn't make sense. It all seems to childish.

    April 15, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Seth

    Wow, if the tables were turned, she would be saying how a recount would be sustaining liberty or something on that order! Man, Republicans are consantly being attacked.

    April 15, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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