The battle for the 25th Congressional district continues with both candidates in Washington D.C. for Congress' first day back in session since the elections.
Democrat Dan Maffei, the incumbent, is there for the Congressional session. And he's not alone. Republican Ann Marie Buerkle is there too for orientation in case she wins the race. Thirteen days after the election, there's still no clear winner in the race. Absentee, emergency and affidavit ballots are being counted and it's anyone's guess who will come out on top.
There will be more legal action this week that could shape the results of the race between Maffei and Buerkle. State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday related to absentee ballots. However, a hearing could come as soon as Wednesday because of numerous issues in counting the votes.
We should know late Tuesday afternoon whether the hearing has been moved up and what specifics it might cover. Attorneys for the campaigns appeared twice before Judge DeJoseph last week to talk about issues like reserving rights to inspect and contest ballots and whether Boards of Elections were obligated to make extensive copies.
In Wayne County, there are 1,448 absentee, emergency and affidavit ballots to be counted. Elections officials were scheduled to open the ballots on Monday, but the legal process is holding that up as attorneys are contesting certain ballots. They plan to begin opening absentee and affidavit ballots Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
In Monroe County, the ballot counting started on Friday. Maffei received 612 and Buerkle received 630. After Friday's count there were approximately 236 left to be counted, but those were objected to by one side or the other. Those ballots will have to wait until a determination from the courts.
No ballot counting was performed on Monday. Onondaga County is still planning on opening absentee ballots on Wednesday
Meanwhile, Buerkle's campaign contacted CNY Central Monday, calling attention to an election scam. "It has been brought to my attention that there are individuals in Onondaga County making false claims about being associated with my campaign while knocking on doors of area seniors and asking for sensitive information related to their absentee ballot votes. Their claims are false, " Buerkle said in a news release. "Let me assure the people of Upstate New York that no one from my campaign is engaged in phone calls or going door-to-door and asking for such information."
This comes just days after we learned Congressman's Dan Maffei's campaign was calling voters to find out who they voted for in the election. Legally, they are allowed to inquire, but you are not required to answer.
Maffei's campaign says they stopped calling absentee voters last week. His campaign spokesperson says they have not sent campaign workers to voters' homes.
Buerkle gained 24 votes in absentee vote counting in Cayuga County Friday. At last check, she was leading Maffei by 711 votes. That was up from 687 votes before the count began.
Both candidates remain confident they will eventually be declared the official winner of this race. CNY Central will continue to monitor vote counting and keep you up to date with the latest numbers.