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. David

    Come on Republicans "The Party of NO" get over it you guys lost the general election. When is reality going to come to the party of "NO" and realize they lost. Look how riduculous it is in Minnesota with Al Franken and Norm Coleman and now this with Tedisco contesting Sen.Gillibrand 's absentee now. Wake up party of "NO" come to reality and stop listening to Rush who is the granddady of the party of "NO." This is becoming a REAL JOKE of the party of "NO."

    April 15, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Dave

    I would have thought the lowest of the low would have been when Obama had all of his opponants removed from the ballot so he could get elected to the Illinois State Senate unapposed.

    April 15, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. AJ

    And the fun never stops. One would have thought that the Republicans had fallen about as low as they could get with Bush and Cheney but they don't seem to be able to help themselves...

    April 15, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. NotALemming

    Isn't this "new low" the exact same thing Barrack Obama did to win his first IL state senate seat?

    April 15, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. david

    Typical Republicans

    They just dont get it huh?

    A dying breed those Republicans are. just think, a couple months ago they were slobbering over the dumbest female ever to take the job of Governer; Sarah Palin

    April 15, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Monrob

    I completely agree with her. The GOP does not know what to do next.

    April 15, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Miguel

    Any democrats complaining about this, please look at how Obama got his first senate seat in Illinois. He got the longtime incumbent DQ'ed on a technicality.

    April 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Nu Indy

    I agree this is crazy and without merit. A once great party has never looked so pathetic and totallydesperate. The hateful, uneducated, crazy wing of the party drove me straight away form the Repub party. At this rate does not look like I will be returning anytime soon, if ever. This is harrasment of the new senator.

    April 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. RRR

    We have so many international and domestic crises......and Republican lawyers are wasting time ON THIS????
    Correct...this is a NEW LOW! Gosh, what do Rush and Newt think about all this....thought they were the (big) mouthpieces of the G.O.P.

    April 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    The republican party lacks common sense and that is very evident in this blog.

    There are liberal democrats and conservative democrats. These are the choices for America going forward. The republican party will come back when they get some common sense leadership.

    April 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Rickymo

    For a country that promotes democracy and voting all over the world we have become such an embarrassment to the world. This countty is a mess...thanks George W!

    April 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Ian-Paul Guzman-Escobar

    New republican moto... they have none... they can't think of anything but bicker and mess our economy up.

    April 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Veteran in Kansas

    Bottom line if an absentee ballot was cast, did she also vote at the poles. Did not think so, one person, one vote, I am so ashamed to have called myself a Republican.

    April 15, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. mypitts2

    It's one ballot. This is politicking on both sides. The GOP, as usual, is more in the wrong.

    I think Murphy's going to win this one.

    April 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Little D

    Chi Town–
    You might want to check your "facts" - when the military-majority absentee ballots were counted - they were more Democratic-leaning and gave Franken an even larger lead !!! Check out the real facts.

    April 15, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Truth Hurts

    The new Motto for conservatives: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!! If everybody was giving the same opportunity, the government would not have to step in. Nothing is even plain!!

    April 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Bring em home

    This is the "New Low" until the next one...Just wait, they always outdo themselves when it comes to slimey politics.

    April 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. DJR

    It's not low it's a start to mend a broken system that the country experimented with in November. Buy, sell, robo, falsify your countless votes. Phone it in, mail it in, do everything to de-legitimize the system. Voting should be on show up and show yourself only basis's. For shut ins and disabled one republican and one democrat together will show up at the door to retrieve the vote, unless voter specifies they would like third party representative as well. The system is a joke, and when our leaders such as Gilbrand fail to set apart the time to conduct their voting as serious time than simple put they should be quite. If your going to note it as a big story than don't make it so trivial a process.

    April 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. JKC

    What a waste of time and tax payers money. It's a valid ballot. Get over it, repubs. It's time that states allow absentee ballots no matter the situation. Some places already allow voting by absentee even if you are going to be home. As long you apply for an absentee ballot and mail it back on time, it's a valid ballot. End of story.

    April 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Christian

    This is simply making hte GOP look worse every second. Maybe actions like this are why a conservative district did not elect a member of the GOP. I believe the country is ready now, more than ever, for alternatives to both the DEMS and REPUBS.

    April 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. david

    what else can you expect from the republic party , the grand old problem , the gop they always talk about personal respnsibility , but the gop never takes any responsibility for anything when they are in office . they have been smashed in 2 elections in a row and still the gop takes no personal resonsibility for their loss . huge unemployment , attacked under their watch on an on it goes , and the vice president cheney calls it stuff , stuff happens he said . this is how the republic party takes personal responsibility . they steal our tax money then tell us about personal responsibility , republics and their gop are a sick joke.

    April 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. julie

    There are hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots submitted with people living in their home districts, such as the elderly, disabled, parents with small children, alternate shift workers (hospital, police, fireman) that for whatever reason are not able to make it to their polling place on that day but take their responsibility to vote very seriously. Seriously enough to plan well ahead to make sure they get their ballots for their vote count. Since when is that un-American???

    April 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Ennis, LA

    Maybe she expects better since she's now a member of the World's
    Most Exclusive club?

    April 15, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. Joe the Troll

    I request an absentee ballor every election and I'm rarely out of town. just easier.

    April 15, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    Count every vote, and keep the courts, and lawyers out of it!!

    April 15, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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