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New York Democrat 'shocked' judge rejects campaign's claims that voting machine errors led to election loss


'I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this race'

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

New York Democrat Anthony Brindisi, the incumbent for New York's 22nd congressional district, said Friday that he is "shocked" a New York judge rejected his campaign's claims that voting machine irregularities resulted in his loss to Republican Claudia Tenney.

What are the details?

New York State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte ruled Friday that Tenney should be certified as the winner of the race, bringing an end to the last undecided race for Congress in the country.

In so doing, DelConte rejected Brindisi's attempt to delay the election's certification until he appealed his case through the court system.

Tenney defeated Brindisi by just 109 votes, 156,098 votes to 155,989.

Not only did DelConte criticize local boards of election for what he called "systemic violations of state and federal election law," but he rejected claims that voter fraud tampered the outcome of the contested election, according to Syracuse.com.

From Syracuse.com:

The judge also took the opportunity to dispel the rumors that have swirled around the legal proceedings regarding the integrity of the election. While there were errors, he writes, there was no fraud. No dead people voted. There were no discrepancies in voting machines, he said.

"Every single valid vote that was cast in New York's 22nd Congressional District has been accounted for, and counted," he wrote.

Lawyers for Brindisi had argued in a court filing this week that voting tabulation errors had marred the election.

"In this case, there is reason to believe that voting tabulation machines misread hundreds if not thousands of valid votes as undervotes, and that these tabulation machine errors disproportionately affected Brindisi," they said, the Associated Press reported.

How did Brindisi respond?

Brindisi called the judge's ruling "shocking," demanded a hand recount, and claimed the true winner of the race remains unknown.

I am shocked and surprised by this decision because of the countless errors and discrepancies that have occurred throughout this initial count. I believe a full audit and hand recount is the only way to resolve this race. 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.

Because this is not a raffle, this is a congressional election. The law that took effect January 1 says we should abide by hand counts whenever the margin is 0.5% or less— it's even closer here right now. Let's follow that rule, get this right for our constituents and count all the 325,000-plus votes. It's shocking, right now, no one knows who actually won this race. My opponent and I deserve true clarity.

According to Syracuse.com, Brindisi is not only prepared to appeal his case through the court system, but he may even do so before the House of Representatives.

What did Tenney say?

"I'm honored to have won this race. It was a hard-fought campaign and I thank Anthony Brindisi for his service. Now that every legal vote has been counted, it's time for the results to be certified. The voters need a voice in Congress, and I look forward to getting to work on behalf of New York's 22nd Congressional District," she said in a statement, The Hill reported.

It's not yet clear when Tenney will be seated in the House. Her win will likely be certified early next week.

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