WXXI AM News

2020 election

Court orders ballot recounts to fix NY-22 errors

Dec 9, 2020
Jillian Forstadt / WSKG

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG)  A New York state Supreme Court justice issued his decision in the legal battle over New York’s 22nd Congressional District on Tuesday.

In his decision, Justice Scott DelConte of Oswego County wrote that the eight county Boards of Elections in the district must now fix their errors and ensure all valid votes, including those mislaid or previously mishandled, are counted. Seven out of the eight counties in the district had issues in the Nov. 3 election, primarily when accounting for absentee and affidavit ballots.

The Monroe County Board of Elections released the vote count of absentee and affidavit ballots on Tuesday night. Added to the machine totals from election night on Nov. 3, some races did see leads evaporate.

Jen Lunsford, the Democratic challenger for the 135th Assembly District seat, narrowly defeated the Republican incumbent, Mark Johns, by 684 votes, according to the unofficial results released Tuesday.

CITY News / file photo

Jen Lunsford, the Democratic challenger for the 135th Assembly District seat, has narrowly defeated the Republican incumbent, Mark Johns, according to unofficial results of the election released late Tuesday by the Monroe County Board of Elections.

Johns, who has held the seat since 2011, led with 55 percent of the vote following Election Day. As of the close of the polls on Nov. 3 with all election districts reporting, 32,599 voters had cast a ballot for Johns in contrast to 26,344 for Lunsford — a difference of 6,255 votes.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

The Monroe County Board of Elections at 10 a.m. Monday began counting the more than 103,000 mail-in ballots it received in recent weeks. Those votes will determine the outcome in several highly contested races, and officials expect the counting to take all week.

Perhaps the closest of the bunch is the contest for the 56th State Senate District. At the end of early and Election Day voting, Democrat Jeremy Cooney led Republican Mike Barry 46,469 to 45,587, or 50.3% of the vote to 49.4%.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

( Binghamton, NY - WSKG) Democratic candidate Dana Balter conceded to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in the race for New York’s 24th Congressional District on Friday.

Katko had a lead of 44,729 votes by the end of the day Thursday, according to Syracuse.com. There were just 40,000 absentee ballots left to count at that point, meaning Balter could not overcome Katko’s lead.

In New York, absentee ballot counting is just getting underway in many counties, more than a week after Election Day.

Because so many more people voted by mail, eight close State Senate seats are undecided until the ballots are processed and it’s possible the new legislative session could begin in January before some of the races are decided.

There are about 1 million more ballots to count than in any previous year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing any registered voter to cast their ballot by mail this year.

The election is over, but that doesn't mean the deep political divide in this country -- or, in many families -- has gone away. This hour, we talk with local people whose families have different political perspectives. They discuss how they navigate those differences in a productive way, and they share their recommendations for other families that are in similar situations.

Our guests:

  • Kit and Dave Miller
  • Sheryl Gates Westerman

Can we ever trust the polls again? That's what many Americans are wondering after the presidential election saw Donald Trump once again out-perform many of the expectations set by state and national polls. What went wrong?

This hour, we talk to a pollster from Siena, a data analyst, and a professor who studies polling. They analyze the results and they explain how polling is done. They also discuss what kinds of changes might have to happen to make sure polls are still accurate enough to be helpful in the future. Our guests:

  • Joseph Burgess, data curator for the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University
  • Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute
  • David Primo, Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor, and professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were declared the president-elect and vice president-elect on Saturday, the local activist organization Free the People Roc organized a celebration at the Liberty Pole in downtown Rochester.

Dozens came out to enjoy food, music and a dance party.  But there was a strong message shared by many of the people who showed up; they were pleased there will be a change in the White House.

Greg Cotterill/WEOS

Learning on Saturday that Joe Biden is president-elect and Kamala Harris is vice president-elect is exciting to people associated with the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls.

WEOS Reporter Greg Cotterill caught up with three Pennsylvania residents, Brook McDermott, Debra Condon and Jeff Hamilton, who have been planning to celebrate - what they hoped would be - the election of the Biden-Harris ticket.

Condon said that they started planning the trip to the Finger Lakes last month.

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