Chaos In New York’s 22nd Congressional District Proves Importance Of Election Transparency

Chaos In New York’s 22nd Congressional District Proves Importance Of Election Transparency

The turbulent situation in New York’s 22nd congressional district is as much a national embarrassment as it is proof how important is election transparency.

On Tuesday, a judge on the New York Supreme Court demanded the district’s eight boards of elections fix errors after flouting state law. Ignoring the law led to mishaps keeping more than 1,700 votes from being counted in the election. Before the ruling and count of new ballots, the race had shown Republican challenger Claudia Tenney winning by a mere 351 votes.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Scott DelConte explained in his ruling the errors were from no fault of voter fraud but a lack of due diligence by local officials conducting the process.

“To be clear, there is absolutely no evidence — or even an allegation — before this Court of any fraud on the part of the Boards of the campaigns,” DelConte wrote. “Instead, problems experienced by the candidates and, consequently, all of the voters across the eight counties in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, were direct results of ‘the careless or inadvertent failure to follow the mandate of statute and case law,’ by the Boards of Elections.”

The judge denied Tenney’s motion to certify the election over Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi’s objections and ordered the counties to fix errors that ranged from misplacing ballots to marking them incorrectly while forgoing the review process to determine validity of 1,500 contested votes in one county alone.

More than a month after election day, New York’s 22nd congressional district remains the only House race in the country without a winner, next to Iowa’s 2nd district where the race was decided by a mere six votes in Republican’s favor. There, Democrat Rita Hart has chosen to bypass state avenues for contesting the results, choosing instead to appeal directly to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to challenge the outcome.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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