You've got to feel for New York State's 46th Senate District. Like the rest of the state, the 46th -- a rural district that snakes from Montgomery County, through the more rural parts of Schenectady and Albany Counties, across all of Greene County and into the northeastern part of Ulster County -- has some identity issues after a recent redistricting.
Unlike the rest of the state, the 46th still has no representation in the state Senate. A squeaker of a race between Republican George Amedore, the presumptive winner, and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk has remained undecided, as the two sides battled in court over whether to count 99 ballots that were originally disallowed over minor technicalities.
The 46th District's legislative limbo may be over soon. On Wednesday, the Times-Union reports, an appellate court ruled in favor of a lower court's decision to allow the ballots to be counted. Incredibly, the 99 ballots stand a chance of swaying the outcome of the race: Most of the 99 ballots come from more heavily Democratic Ulster County, a stronghold of Tkcazyk support in the district. Without the 99 uncounted ballots, Amedore is in the lead by just 37 votes.
There's another wild card in the race, too: A single uncounted vote whose fate remains unclear. From the Times-Union:
Also Wednesday, Montgomery County Elections Commissioner Jamie Duchessi said that an additional absentee ballot was located Monday. It was cast by a Democratic election inspector, he said.
"It was in one of our regular ballot bags ... near the bottom," said Duchessi, a Democrat. "We're hanging onto it until we get instructions."
Amedore was certified by a Montgomery County judge as the winner of the race in December, but with the ultimate outcome of the race still in limbo because of the ballot dispute, he declined to vote on recent gun control legislation. Amedore's vote would not have swayed the outcome of the Senate's vote on the bill, but some of his supporters are upset that their voice was not heard on the issue in Albany. From another recent Times-Union story:
But Geoff Ford, a 52-year-old Ravena man, says the race’s unsettled nature leaves him without representation. (Ravena, a town in Albany County, is located in the boundaries of the five-county 46th State Senate District.)
“Who do I talk to? I was totally unrepresented in the vote. Even if his vote didn’t matter, and I would have lost, at least I would have had a voice that could have possibly swayed others,” said Ford, who added that he owns a gun.