There's still no official winner in the newly created 46th Senate District where both republican George Amedore and democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk declared victory last week. But as YNN's Lori Chung reports, the process has begun to help pin down who the new senator-elect will be and ultimately which party will control the State Senate.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It's a large job, but one that will ultimately help decide the official winner in the new 46th Senate District race between Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore.
"We're just bringing the two worlds together and verifying that the data on the ballots matches the data on the machine itself," said Rachel Bledi, Albany County's Republican election commissioner.
Tkaczyk leads Amedore by 139 votes. This audit of ballot machines in the new five county district won't change vote totals, but is the first step in a process that will end with the counting of thousands of absentee ballots.
"I believe there are more democratic absentee ballots and I'm hoping this count goes quickly," said Tkacyzk.
Attorneys representing both parties are monitoring the process. The election could tip the balance of power in the republican controlled Senate over to the democrats. Tkaczyk predicts the count will widen her lead.
"I did everything I could to get my message out to the voters. The voters I think clearly said they want a democratic Senate, they want democratic issues addressed."
Both Tkaczyk and Amedore declared victory on election night. While the republican declined an interview, his campaign spokesman sent us a statement saying: "We asked the Court to intercede in this matter so that we can safeguard and protect the integrity of the voting process. The Court has agreed that measures should be taken so that every vote will be verified and counted. With some 11,000 absentee ballots to be calculated in the weeks ahead, we remain confident that George Amedore will be the senator representing this five county district."
Election officials will begin counting those absentee ballots and affidavits on November 19th. Contested ballots will be set aside which could change that 139 vote margin. But in which direction? Well, when you break down where absentee ballots have been returned, it looks like it might favor Tkaczyk slightly. But we won't know for sure until the end of the month when this process has been completed.