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DJ New York Republican Claudia Tenney Should Be Certified Winner of House Race, Judge Rules

· 02/05/2021 19:11
By Jimmy Vielkind

Republican Claudia Tenney should be certified as the winner of an upstate New York congressional seat, a judge ruled Friday, capping a court-supervised canvass and resolving the last uncalled race for the U.S. House of Representatives from 2020.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte said that Ms. Tenney received 156,098 votes compared with 155,989 for U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat from Utica who won the seat from Ms. Tenney in 2018. Justice DelConte ordered election officials to certify her victory.

In a statement, Ms. Tenney said every legal vote had been counted and she was honored to have won in New York's 22nd congressional district, which stretches across eight counties from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario through the cities of Binghamton and Utica.

"The voters need a voice in Congress, and I look forward to getting to work," Ms. Tenney said.

On Friday, attorneys for the Democratic incumbent filed a notice to appeal recent decisions by Justice DelConte about which ballots were eligible to be counted. This week, Mr. Brindisi's lawyers asked Justice DelConte to delay certifying the election until appeals were heard. They also moved for a manual audit of how votes were tabulated, citing small reporting errors, a request that Justice DelConte denied.

"With the margin so thin, the ever-changing tally, and the countless errors that have occurred arriving at today's final number we can't afford to wonder here. We have to get it right," Mr. Brindisi said in a statement.

Ms. Tenney led Mr. Brindisi by around 28,000 votes after the end of in-person balloting. But she filed a lawsuit shortly after the polls closed to trigger a court-backed process for counting more than 60,000 absentee and affidavit ballots under the supervision of the competing campaigns.

The canvass revealed numerous errors by county-run boards of election throughout the process that caused both candidates to suffer and disenfranchised voters, Justice DelConte wrote in a ruling. Board officials didn't properly label ballots and failed to process more than 2,400 registration applications before Election Day, according to court records.

Ms. Tenney is the second New York Republican to unseat an incumbent Democrat in 2020. She will be the 212th GOP House lawmaker, bringing the margin of Democratic control in the House to nine members.

Write to Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 19:11 ET (00:11 GMT)

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