CHENANGO COUNTY – While Chenango County Board of Elections can now resume sorting and opening absentee, affidavit, and military ballots after an agreement was reached in the Oneida County Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon, local officials say they will likely reach that stage on Friday.
The ballots, as well as memory cards, flash drives, paper documents, unused ballots, and other election day records have been impounded in a vault under lock and key since Friday afternoon after Anthony Brindisi requested the court order.
Following election day, Brindisi had a 1,293 vote lead over incumbent Congresswoman Claudia Tenney after receiving 117,931 votes to Tenney's 116,638. More than 17,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted and could decide the race.
Chenango County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Carol Franklin said it is not unheard of to have an impoundment ordered in a close election to ensure a fair counting process, but noted this is only the fourth time it has happened in Chenango County since she joined the board of elections in 1992.
Before the agreement was reached on Tuesday, Chenango County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Mary Lou Monahan said, "We can't touch anything. This is for the Democratic commissioners, but because everything had to be put away it affects everything, so that's why we can't do anything."