Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Maffei Narrows Gap with Walsh

The gap between apparent winner Rep. Jim Walsh and challenger Dan Maffei in the 25th Congressional District narrowed by about 300 votes Monday, but thousands of votes remain uncounted and a final tally of election results might not be completed until sometime next week.

A routine recanvass of voting machines in Syracuse found more than 300 votes that were recorded for Walsh on election night actually belonged to Maffei, said Mike Whyland, Maffei's campaign manager.

That adjustment left Walsh - who won 51 percent of the vote to Maffei's 49 percent - leading Maffei by a little more than 3,200 votes.

Similar rechecking of voting machines in 15 towns across Onondaga and Cayuga counties, as well as all of Wayne County, is scheduled to begin today. Voters in those towns, however, did not support Maffei as strongly as those in Syracuse did. "The numbers are going the way we want them to right now," Whyland said. "That's better than them going the other way." In addition to the recanvassing - which involves checking the machine totals - more than 10,000 absentee, emergency and other paper ballots will begin to be counted in Onondaga and Wayne counties Thursday, election officials said.

Onondaga County officials said they don't expect to have final vote totals until late Thursday, at the earliest. That could have an effect on the 121st Assembly District, where Democrat Al Stirpe leads Republican Bill Meyer by 1,031 votes, according to
unofficial figures.

Wayne County officials said a final number is not likely until sometime next week. The 25th District includes all of Onondaga and Wayne counties and parts of Cayuga and Monroe counties. A recanvass in Monroe County on Friday shifted 104 votes in Maffei's favor.


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