It's been more than a month since voters cast their ballots in the race for the state Supreme Court's Fourth Judicial District, and results still haven't been finalized.
The reason? An ongoing court battle over a close race in New York's 46th Senate District.
Attorneys for Republican Assemblyman George Amedore, who holds a slim lead over Democratic opponent Cecilia Tkacyzk of Duanesburg, filed a motion to halt the counting of absentee and affidavit ballots earlier this week, the Albany Times Union newspaper reported Wednesday. Those ballots include votes cast for candidates in the Fourth Judicial District, which encompasses parts of the 46th Senate District.
"It's kind of out of our hands," Tom Connelly of the state Board of Elections told the Enterprise Wednesday. "It's all basically controlled by the judges and the courts right now."
Ballots in the Fourth District race were impounded after Republican candidate Felix Catena, of Amsterdam, filed a petition in Montgomery County Supreme Court in November. Catena sought the impoundment order because he was locked in a close race for the fourth open seat with fellow Republican John Ellis of Tupper Lake. Those ballots have since been counted, and the impoundment order has been lifted.
The race for the fourth and final seat could now come down to 104 ballots in Schenectady and Montgomery County, according to Ellis.
"They are the subject of an Appellate Division appeal from a lawsuit between Amedore and Tackyck," he said in an email. "Once the case is heard then the ballots will be counted or not depending on the decision."
The state BOE's website has posted district-wide results but noted that results in the 11 counties that make up the Fourth Judicial District are "provisional pending the completion of affidavit ballot counting or a court-supervised count."
The provisional results show Ellis leading Catena by 70 votes for the fourth-place seat. They show Joseph Sise, Christine Clark and Thomas Buchanan winning, and Mark Powers, John Silvestri and Jeffrey Wait losing.
"At this point I am happy to be up the votes and am anxious to get the ballots counted and the result certified," Ellis said.
Catena said he hasn't seen the BOE figures.
"I don't know what the numbers are," he said.
Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the #s
Fourth Judicial District, state Supreme Court
Provisional results of Nov. 6 election, subject to change
|-Sise, Republican and Conservative:||168,667|
|-Buchanan, Republican and Conservative:||154,533|
|-Ellis, Republican and Conservative:||148,051|
|-Catena, Republican and Conservative:||147,981|
(Source: state Board of Elections)