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. Erik

    Yeah, that's pretty pathetic.

    April 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. John

    You can't get much lower than Palin's rhetoric during the campaign...or much lower than Limbaugh....or much lower than Beck crying on air....or much lower than the GOP 'budget proposal'....or much lower than the GOP criticizing EVERYTHING.....or the GOP supporting....ah well, I guess the GOP keep finding a way to drop through to the next floor down.

    April 15, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Will-South Dakota

    So......meanwhile in America what else is going on? The GOP is business as usual.

    April 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Sniffit

    I have a pair of steel-toed boots and the GOP's collective groin in the crosshairs.

    April 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Ken

    Out of the sandbox, Republicans. It is time to forget the kiddie's games and grow up! There are important things to be done to rescue this economy – much more important than childish spats.

    Gonna be another Minnesota?? Oh Joy!!

    April 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Randall Arnold

    petty politics as usual.

    April 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. AJ

    The Democrates would NEVER do this ????????????????

    April 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Lee, Mays Landing New Jersey

    After ruining our nation in so many ways, after contantly lying and fomenting hate and violence through theor organs on hate radio and "Faux News", it's getting harder to find a new low to outdo the last one.

    no one in the right mind should have ever vote Republican after Nixon. We'd be a far more advanced, tolerant, healthy and educated country if people had realized what kind of cancer on our democracy such right wing parties are. Trying to cheat and steal an election was an art form under Nixon and he got away with it and never went to jail. A generation of republican operatives learned from that; and assume they can get away with anything.

    April 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. SoCalGal

    I can't think of much more 'new low-ish" than electing a socialist 'Democratic' president. Those who live in glass houses should not throw the first stone.

    April 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Karen-phoenix

    Republican have no one left but this radical right wing movement and that scares me. They have NO education and a lot of hate and guns. I was a republican for over 40 years but NO MORE!!! Someone better just stop this mess the republicans have made. This stupid tea party, the killing of the 3 policemen in Pittsburg, FOX news and more NEED to STOP!!!

    April 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Takeshi

    For all the uneducated repugs.. NO this is NOT how B.O got elected to the STATE senate. The other party did not have enough signatures to be in the race!!!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK> so tired of the lies..

    April 15, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Kwesoe

    Me thinks there is going to be much joy and celebration in Washington when Senator Franken and Representative Murphy take their rightful places in Congress, thereby boosting the democratic majority. On the other side of the bench will be those grumpy old people (GOP) grieving inappropriately. O America, what a wonderful country!

    April 15, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Paul from Phoenix

    Quit whining. Both parties wil do everything within ther means to contest any and every ballot if it means victory for their candidate.

    I am sure the Dems have their operative looking for any opportunity to exclude ballots in favor of Tedesco.

    Politicians remind me of Bruce Bowen (NBA Spurs, youtube him if you don't know). He is one of the dirtiest players, andwhen he gets caught, always has this look of shock on his face. Politicians will do anything to win, and then look shocked when called.

    I wonder if what "instructions" Mrs. Gillibrand has given her operatives in the past.


    April 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Rick

    Gee, what happened to all the "landslide victories" that the democrats were going to have in the upcoming years? And this is in a democrat district previously held by Gillibrand and Clinton. Add to this the polls that show that Patterson is in trouble and Dodd and Corzine, etc.

    April 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Grog in Ohio

    Wow... Republicans surprise me everyday by becoming even more embarrassing than they were the day before.

    April 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Don

    The republicans ned to focus more on how to get this country back on track and to better economic conditions instead of being so pety and reduculous. The world would perhaps be better off without them

    April 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Boytjie

    Obama did not challenge ballots, he challenged nominating petitions in a primary race for State Senate.

    April 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Matt

    C'mon people and take off your partisan blinders for one minute. This happens on both sides any chance they see an advantage. To deride it as purely brash GOP tactics is naive and to whine about the hypocritical liberals is ridiculous. Political trash is on both sides of the aisle and the sooner people can see that the sooner we can reduce this harmful polarization and realize that somewhere in the middle is much healthier for this country.

    April 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Saint Genesius

    Wow, the GOP screwing with an election. Imagine that!

    I've always been astonished that in general voters are not more outraged by the consistent GOP attempts to disenfranchise voters. I mean, really, what kind of political party tries to prevent people from voting in elections in a democracy? Oh, right, the Republicans.

    They do that because they know they are a true minority party, always have been, always will be. Now they are a small minority regional party.

    I'm sure someone will bring up ACORN here –but of course, ACORN attempts to register otherwise disenfranchised voters. The big lie in the last election about ACORN trying to register ineligible voters was just that, a lie. ACORN executives are the ones who blew the whistle on independent contractors who falsified registration forms –forms ACORN is obligated under law to turn in to registrars.

    Groups like ACORN are in the forefront of democracy, groups like the GOP are anti-democracy.

    The NY 20th special election is an unmitigated disaster for the Republican Party. They should have slammed the Democrats in that district. Even if they eek out a victory, there is no way it can be spun as anything other than a mess for the GOP and another example of a party who is completely out of touch with reality.

    Oh, and maybe the attorneys they have working on the ballot counting should read New York law.


    April 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. JA/TN

    you talk about not being patriotic, that is where the GOP has stooped to, look at the boys the from Minnesota, and Newt's days are over

    April 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. sherry

    The GOP.....As low as a snake....need I say more?

    April 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. JonDie

    Typical, pathetic undemocratic action by the Republicans.

    April 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Terry, TX

    Aw...let the courts handle it.

    April 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Sniffit

    Sorry, left out a couple words...should've read: If indeed CNN's statements regarding NY State law ARE TRUE, it's all very VERY simple:

    1. Notice that there is a situation that might appear at first blush to be slightly wierd;

    2. Ignore the black letter law that clearly states Gilibrand and others cast valid votes;

    3. Bring frivolous legal challenge because your "base" will never ever believe anyone who tells them it's not frivolous;

    4. Lose the challenge and hint at conspiracies, election fraud, vote-rigging, etc., and point out that the "Dems are in control of the country;"

    5. Enjoy angry, raving, foaming-at-the-mouth, MOTIVATED "base."

    See? Easy peasy.

    April 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Joe

    It isn't possible for either political party to stoop to a new low. Alexander Mooney, it is obvious from this little piece of "journalism" that you are a Democrat shill. There are plenty of shills on both sides who call themselves journalists. What a joke. Ted Kennedy: organized crime family, expelled from Harvard twice for cheating, we will never know the truth involving Mary Jo's death.......still, he is one of the "good guys", right? Give him some more awards. Re-elect him in a landslide victory over and over and over. Maybe he can help fight the evil republicans on this issue. Democrats, Republicans, journalists......they think we are all a bunch of idiots.

    April 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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