Court rules 99 ballots OK to count

An appellate court ruled Wednesday 99 ballots should be added to the tally in the 46th state Senate District between Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk.

However, the contest in the district – which includes all of Greene and Montgomery counties, and parts of Schenectady, Albany and Ulster counties – could go to the state’s top court before it’s finally sorted out.

In court Monday, attorneys filed their arguments on whether or not the more than 300 ballots set aside in the race should be counted. The ballots in question were objected to back in November during the counting process.

On Dec. 19, Montgomery County Acting Supreme Court Judge Guy Tomlinson’s ruling gave Amedore the win by 37 votes.

However, Tkaczyk’s campaign contends hundreds of ballots were not counted that should have been included.

On Wednesday, rhe Appellate Division directed the five counties’ election boards to recount with 99 ballots – 53 cast by Ulster County election inspectors and 46 other affidavit and absentee ballots – after concluding Tomlinson incorrectly upheld objections filed by attorneys in the case.

“We are pleased that the judges of the Appellate Division agree with the very basic principle that ministerial errors should not invalidate New Yorkers’ rights to have their voices heard,” Gary Ginsburg, Tkaczyk’s press secretary, said in an news release. “Though many of the ballots were ruled valid, there are still New Yorkers who participated in this election who have not had their votes counted. We respect the judicial process and look forward to a speedy resolution to ensure that the residents of the 46th [state] Senate District have their elected representative seated in the State Senate.”

Kris Thompson, Amedore’s press secretary, was unavailable for comment, but a news release was issued Wednesday.

“We are reviewing the court decision and will have a response at the appropriate time,” the release said.

Ginsburg said he could not say if the legal battles surrounding the race would end today. As of this morning, Ginsburg said the race could either be done today or the legal battle could move from the Appellate Division up into the Court of Appeals.

“We are not going to have the ballots counted until after the judicial process is completed,” Ginsburg said.