Three lawsuits have been filed in connection to results for elections in several New York state Senate races, one filed in connection to the Senate race in New York’s 42nd District and two filed in connection with the race in the 50th District.
The GOP and Democratic candidates in the 50th District both filed lawsuits on November 9, which asked the court to preserve ballots and election records for differing reasons.
GOP candidate Rebecca Shiroff says that she is leading by 396 votes as of Nov. 9 and alleged that the voting machines are inaccurately counting ballots.
“Several Voting Machines used in this election were defective, which may result in inaccurate tallies of votes; additionally, there are certainly other irregularities in the election process which may give rise to improper votes being canvassed or the canvass of inaccurate returns,” her lawsuit said.
Meanwhile, Democratic candidate John Mannion also filed a lawsuit and is seeking a recount. He alleged that the margin separating the two contenders will be below 0.5 percentage points, and should that occur, a section of New York Election Law says that “the board of elections or a bipartisan committee appointed by the board shall conduct a full manual recount of all ballots for a particular contest … where the margin of victory is 0.5% or less,” per Mannion’s lawsuit.
Mannion’s lawsuit said he has “no interest” in superseding election law proceedings or dictating how the New York State Board of Elections will conduct a canvass of the general election. Shiroff, however, is asking the court to both suspend the Board of Elections from certifying election results and “further [declare] that the Respondent Board of Elections certify the name of Petitioner, Rebecca Shiroff, as the candidate duly elected to the said public office.”
Judge Scott Delconte ruled on Nov. 10 that the Board of Elections can resume casting and canvassing absentee, military, special and affidavit ballots. Mannion and Shiroff are permitted to have counsel or designated poll watchers observe the canvassing. The court and the candidates’ counsels will hold a conference on Nov. 15.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit in the 42nd District is on behalf of GOP candidate Dorey Houle, who alleged that the Orange County Board of Elections is in possession of ballots that have not been counted and that defective machines are leading to inaccurate results. As of Nov. 10, she is behind by 1,180 votes. However, the court has yet to issue an order on her lawsuit.
Although the Republican Party’s hoped for “red wave” did not appear in the midterm elections, with the Senate remaining in control of the Democratic party and the House expected to be taken by a slim margin, the GOP performed unexpectedly well in New York, and some believe that Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin helped to bring some candidates into office across the state, although Zeldin himself lost his race.
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