Reality Check on NY-23: It’s NOT That Bad

Despite a number of reports currently circulating about New York’s special election in 23rd Congressional District, some of which suggest the very real possibility that Doug Hoffman could yet win the seat he’s conceded, the situation is, in fact, nowhere near that bad.

To begin, while the number of uncounted absentee ballots are more than double Bill Owens’ margin of victory, Hoffman would have to win 70% of the uncounted ballots to catch up, a possibility that’s extremely unlikely, as most absentee ballots were cast when Dede Scozzafava was not just a viable candidate, but THE viable candidate.

Further, some reports have blamed the narrowing race on misconduct or human error in the affected boards of elections (Oswego, Jefferson). This is also incorrect. No county board has yet certified a winner in its county in the 23rd District; the Hoffman campaign’s decision to concede was based on unofficial numbers openly noted as incomplete by both boards. Hoffman’s decision rely on preliminary figures was perhaps unwise. But, it won’t matter anyways.

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