Tedisco Camp Now Objects to Student Ballots

ALBANY—The Tedisco campaign is now also challenging ballots of students who come from outside the 20th Congressional District, many of whom attend Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

Yesterday, Republicans began objecting systematically to absentee ballots cast by voters who maintain second homes in some of the southern parts of the district, and Saratoga County Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman called late last night to say that several of the student ballots were being challenged on grounds that the students improperly claimed residency within the district.

(You might remember this issue from the Democratic presidential primary, where Barack Obama’s mobilization of student voters was criticized by his opponents.)

“It’s ridiculous—these same students voted with no problem in November,” Bulman said. He did not have a specific number of student ballots that were challenged.

James Walsh, an attorney representing Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, said yesterday, “What we’re doing is trying to prevent fraud.”

Tyler Brown, a Tedisco campaign spokesman, said, “If there are questions surrounding residency, then we expect those questions to be decided by the judge.”

Jasper Nolan, the chairman of the Saratoga County Republican Committee, said that the residency of Skidmore students has come up in the past. There were watchers from both campaigns present outside the campus polling place on the day of the special election. The final result, according to the student newspaper, was 167 votes for Democrat Scott Murphy and 11 votes for Tedisco.

Absentee ballots are still being counted in Saratoga, Warren, Washington, Essex, Dutchess and Columbia counties, but the latest tally as of 10 a.m. has Murphy leading by 56 votes, according to the State Board of Elections.

Tedisco is expected to gain votes in Saratoga County, the most populous in the district—those absentee ballots are not included in the above figure. Nolan said he expects the absentee ballots will be completely canvassed by this evening.

In another development, the Tedisco campaign sent a letter asking for an extension for military voters. A previous court decision ruled that those ballots could not be counted before April 13, but that was yesterday, and many county boards are reviewing them today.

Tedisco Camp Now Objects to Student Ballots