I want to update readers on three extremely close House races.
In California’s 25th congressional district, Republican incumbent Mike Garcia leads Democrat Christy Smith by 405 votes out of approximately 340,000 cast. It appears from this account that, amazingly, there are still some votes that haven’t been counted. No one seems to know how many.
The final canvass is supposed to be tomorrow (Monday). After that, I think the loser can demand a recount.
This seat traditionally has been held by Republicans. Katie Hill won it for the Democrats in 2018, but resigned due to a sex scandal. Garcia then won the seat in a special election earlier this year.
He is on the verge of holding it for the GOP, but this race has gone back and forth since election night. Who can say for certain that there won’t be another twist?
In Iowa’s second district, there’s an even closer race between Democrat Rita Hart and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Milller-Meeks leads by only six votes.
I gather that all of the votes have been counted and recounted in this race. The state canvass board will meet tomorrow (Monday) and is expected to certify all Iowa results.
Assuming Miller-Weeks is declared the winner, this will represent a pickup for the GOP. Democrat Dave Loebsack is stepping aside after seven terms.
Finally, there’s the race in New York’s 22nd district between the incumbent, Democrat Anthony Brindisi, and his GOP challenger Claudia Tenney, a former member of the House. As of now, Brindisi, who trailed by 28,000 votes on election night, leads by 13 votes.
This race is in court. The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports:
Contested ballots are undergoing judicial review by state Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte, who issued an injunction in the case on Tuesday. A true picture of the results in the race won’t be available until DelConte makes a ruling on hundreds of contested ballots in the case, which resumes when motions are filed by the campaign legal teams Monday. . . .
DelConte’s injunction prevents the board of elections in the congressional district’s eight counties — Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Oswego and Tioga — from certifying results in the contest between Tenney and Brindisi.
Last ditch challenges to vote counts don’t usually succeed. However, when the margin is only 13 votes it’s certainly possible that such a challenge will.
That’s particularly true in a case like this one, where, reportedly, many ballots are in dispute, and some election commissioners admit both that they are not sure about their existing totals and that they did not follow the state-mandated procedure for recording objections to ballots by the respective campaigns.
No wonder DelConte issued an injunction.
Tenney, the Republican, had this to say :
Governor Cuomo’s unfair, unwise, and unilateral rules changes and administrative burdens overwhelmed our voting system and created this utter dysfunction. As a result, the law was not followed when ballots were challenged and tabulated in this election. . .Hundreds of ineligible ballots were illegally or improperly cast including votes by the dead, non-residents, or unregistered voters.
Those ballots should not – and must not – be counted. The hearing in court has already established that the current tally includes invalid votes and that the process to review and count the massive amount of paper ballots is fractured. Today’s misleading and inaccurate tally is rife with errors and mistakes that must be rectified before this election is certified. It is far from final.