Corwin Blocks Certification of Winner in New York 26

By Chris Good

We won't have an official winner until later this week, at least, in today's special House election in New York's 26th Congressional District. Trailing by four percentage points in the latest poll, Republican candidate Jane Corwin has successfully barred the certification of a winner, and the counting of paper ballots, until after a hearing before a judge later this week.

The Buffalo News reports that State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia issued a court order today at the request of Corwin's lawyers:

Pending court proceedings before Buscaglia on Thursday at the earliest, the judge also impounded all voting equipment and enjoined the canvass of paper ballots "except as directed by this court" and "temporarily enjoined and restrained from certifying" the winner pending that court hearing.

Chris Grant, a spokesman for the Corwin campaign, said the court action "is very typical" in such close elections.

"We recognize the closeness of the race and we want to make sure that every legal vote is counted fairly and accurately," Grant said.

The race is expected to be close, but it's hard to tell just how close it will be. As is the case with many House races, reputable polling has been scarce. Only two independent polls have been released, both by Siena College. Democrat Kathy Hochul leads Corwin by four percentage points in the latest one, conducted May 18-20. Corwin led by five percentage points in the last one, conducted April 26-27.

Results could hinge on how many votes go to Jack Davis, a third candidate running under the tea-party banner but disputed as an impostor by tea partiers.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/corwin-blocks-certification-of-winner-in-new-york-26/239409/