GOP Likely To Control State Senate (Updatedx2)
A judge in Nassau County has ruled in favor of the Republicans in the undecided 7th Senate District race between Incumbent Sen. Craig Johnson and his Republican challenger, Jack Martins.
Democrats had been asking for a full hand recount, but the judge denied that request today. Republicans are declaring victory in the race, which would give them 32 seats in the Senate come January.
“Now that Judge Warshawsky has officially certified this election, I extend my congratulations to Jack Martins on winning the 7th District seat by 451 votes, giving Republicans 32 seats and a majority in the New York State Senate,” Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said.
“Jack Martins was a hard-working candidate who listened to the concerns of Nassau County families on their doorsteps and in their communities, and he deserves credit for this extraordinary victory. I know he will represent the 7th Senate District with enthusiasm and integrity.”
As you can imagine, Democrats were not happy with today’s ruling.
“The judge’s decision to deny a recount is wrong on the letter and spirit of the law. In a race where the margin is less than half of one percent, the failure to count every vote is a disservice to every voter,” said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the DSCC.
“This week, it was discovered that nearly a quarter of a million votes in New York City were not counted. For the first time in its history, New York has the ability to ensure every vote is fully and accurately counted, but instead of using the tools at our disposal, the judge set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the disenfranchisement of New Yorkers.”
Democrats are not conceding the race yet. A hearing has been set for Tuesday to decide whether a five percent audit is required before certification of the election.
Democrats publicly say they will review all legal options following that ruling. But privately, some members are admitting that it is unlikely they will be able to win the race.
UPDATE: DSCC Chairman Austin Shafran says that Senator Craig Johnson will file a notice of appeal on Monday, challenging the judge’s ruling against a full hand recount. That doesn’t mean that he necessarily has to go through with the appeal, it just gives him the option to do so.
One reason they may not go forward with an appeal is because the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is $2.4 million in debt.
Another factor is that there is still an undecided race in the 37th Senate District, where incumbent Democrat Suzi Oppenheimer is currently leading Republican Bob Cohen by several hundred votes.
With limited funds, it may be hard for Democrats to fight legal battles on two different fronts.
UPDATE2: Johnson himself issued the following statement:
“I’d be the first to congratulate Jack Martins if I was certain that each of the 85,000-plus votes in this race were counted and counted accurately.”
“The procedures governing these new voting machines are uncharted territory. What happens here could very well govern how all future close elections are decided. That is why I intend to take my request for a full hand recount to a higher court. I am prepared for any outcome of such a count.”
“Voters need to have confidence that when their ballot is cast, its counted. That was why millions of dollars were spent on voting technology that had a paper trail. The legal precedent simply cannot be to ignore this vitally important protection.”
“Frankly, this is bigger than me, bigger than Jack Martins, and bigger than who controls the State Senate. This is about preserving the principle of one man, one vote that our government was founded upon.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Michael Johnson on December 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm, and is filed under 2010, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|