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(UPDATED) 46th District vote count update

UPDATE, 7:31 p.m.: An amended counting process in the 46th Senate District could mean we get a winner sooner than expected.

The change came today from the judge overseeing the process, which will now allow counting paper ballots in multiple counties at the same time.

Before this order, it was expected that a winner might not be decided until late into December.

"The supplemental order makes it possible to finish in a timely manner," said Schenectady County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Brian Quail.

He had previously expressed reservations about the schedule approved for counting affidavit and absentee ballots in this race.

ORIGINAL The trickling in of absentee ballots in the 46th Senate District appears to be benefiting the Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk.

Tkaczyk currently leads Assemblyman Geoerge Amedore, R-Rotterdam, by 139 votes in the race for the new district, which stretches from Montgomery County to Ulster County. The race will be decided by about 10,000 absentee and affidavit ballots, which will be counted starting next week.

We've got updated absentee ballot figures from Montgomery, Ulster and Albany counties, since we last assessed the paper ballots in this race. The new numbers include about 100 more votes in both Ulster and Albany counties, which were won by Tkaczyk.

We haven't gotten new numbers for Schenectady or Greene counties and the numbers from Montgomery County have actually gone down. The Montgomery County decrease is a little confusing, but the current numbers seem reliable from the county Board of Elections.

The new numbers also allow us to look at the partisan breakdown of the absentee ballots.

There wasn't much of a variation with these numbers.

What has become a little clearer are the affidavit ballots in this race. I should stress “little,” because only Montgomery County has given a clear picture of its affidavit vote totals.

About 364 affidavit ballots were cast in the district from Montgomery County and the local BOE has ruled that 223 are valid. Those rulings can still be challenged by attorneys for the candidates.

There's still a week until we actually start counting any of these paper ballots, so there is still some time to paint a clear picture. Even after we start counting vote, it's likely it will take a while, maybe until after Christmas.

The first step in deciding a winner started in Albany County today, where they reviewed the totals from Election Day. A spokesman for Tkaczyk said this process resulted in no changes to the current total.

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