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The Berkshires

Both sides in court for ballots being challenged in 46th State Senate race

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Albany/HV: Both sides in court for ballots being challenged in 46th State Senate race
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Both sides in the race for the 46th State Senate District appeared in court for challenged ballots. More than 800 ballots are being challenged. Lori Chung has more.

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- A race that is still undecided now plays out in Montgomery County court where a judge is now tasked with deciding whether more than 870 contested ballots should be counted in the 46th Senate District race.

"Let's open ballots," said Frank Hoare, the attorney representing democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk's campaign. "Let's let the people decide who the senator of their district will be."

With the campaigns for Tkaczyk and republican George Amedore both expressing confidence that the race will be decided in their candidate's favor, the judge set a schedule to rule on those ballot challenges in the new five county district and to hear arguments from attorneys on both sides on the legal basis on their objections. Many of them were made regarding the ballot envelopes, the votes inside are still unknown.

"These legal decisions, purely legal as opposed to fact decisions, will probably govern almost a good three to five hundred of the objections," said David Lewis, attorney for Amedore's campaign.

Most of the objections come from Amedore's camp, where the candidate holds a lead of 110 votes.

"I believe a lot of the challenges have no basis in law or in fact and I think that will be proved out in front of the judge," said Hoare.

And a lot of attention will be on Ulster County, which came out strong for election night and contains the most amount of contested ballots.

"You want to make sure that the result is accurate, complete and thorough. And the urge to do something quickly always ends up in having it done badly," said Lewis.

Achieving a result could indeed take awhile. After the judge rules on the legality of the challenges, he'll move on to the ballots in a county by county process that will start with Schenectady and end with Ulster. And in a race with a margin this slim, it's likely that any decision by the judge may be appealed.

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