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Battle over ballots in the 41st Senate District race

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Albany/HV: Battle over ballots in the 41st Senate District race
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Victory has been claimed in the 41st Senate District race, but still there's a chance the win could be overturned. YNN's Elaina Athans tells us about what has become the focus of two campaigns.

POUGHKEEPSIE -- The fight to win the 41st Senate District continues this time not out on the campaign trail, but inside the Dutchess Board of Elections office. Absentee and affidavit ballots are being meticulously sorted through in the race between Republican Steve Saland and Democrat Terry Gipson.

There's a difference of 1,700 votes in Gipson's favor, making a Saland victory unlikely. Still, both campaigns are closely watching over the process - and challenging questionable ballots.

"The applications of the ballots, the envelopes that contain the ballots, every document surrounding a voter’s registration is going to be review," said Dutchess Board of Election Republican Commissioner Erik Haight.

Gipson did declared victory election night. Incumbent Saland, who has a three-decade long career, has has not conceded.

"Any time you’re going to have a close race like this, you’re going to have a lot of scrutiny," said Haight.

It could be two or three weeks before the work is finished. The Board of Elections says it has an exorbitant amount of absentee and affidavit ballots - the highest number Dutchess County has ever seen. There are roughly 9,000 votes to sort through.

"There's a lot more paper to count than there is a margin of difference between the two candidates," said Haight.

Further hindering Saland's chances to overcome Gipson is the fact that there is a third party candidate on the ballot - Conservative Neil DiCarlo. It was clear that he cut into Saland's vote total on election night, and will likely garner some of the absentee votes as well.

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