Updated 09/15/2012 08:44 PM
Absentee ballots will decide 43rd District GOP primary
In Senator Roy McDonald's past seven races for the state legislature, including primaries, he never won by less than 2,700 votes. Thursday night's outcome against challenger Kathy Marchione was a far cry from a landslide, as no winner was able to be declared with a razor thin margin. YNN's Matt Hunter has more on the process to determine a victor.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. –- One day after election night, we're still no closer to declaring a winner in the 43rd Senate District Republican Primary. With all 218 precincts reporting, challenger Kathy Marchione holds a slim 122 vote lead over incumbent Roy McDonald.
"I felt strongly and passionately about why I was running and believe people also believed in it,” Marchione said Friday. “Which is why at this point we're still ahead."
Mr. McDonald's staff did not return phone calls requesting an interview Friday.
In addition to Columbia County, the two-term Senator carries a lead in Saratoga County, where both candidates call home, but trails Marchione in Rensselaer and Washington counties.
The outcome of the race will now come down to absentee ballots.
"This is the same procedure no matter the results on the election, whether it's a wide margin or a narrow margin, it's just that people pay a lot more attention when it's a narrow election," said John Conklin, Public Information Director for the New York State Board of Elections.
According to the four County Board of Elections offices, 1,506 absentee ballots were sent out and 988 were returned. The latter number could slightly rise with the deadline to submit still not reached.
"All of the absentee ballots have to be postmarked the day before Election Day and then they have seven days after election day to come into the board to be counted," Conklin explained.
Next Thursday's deadline is subject to change if either candidate files a request to impound the ballots, which is something Marchione says her staff already plans to do.
That would leave the process in the hands of a judge but it would still need to be resolved by no later than 32 days before November's general election.
"It does need to happen fairly quickly but it will all depend on the lawyers and the court if there is an impoundment order," Conklin said.
As officials work toward an outcome and re-canvass every ballot cast, both candidates now seem intent on focusing on the general election.
"We'll hire the people to fight the legal battle and continue to move forward on the general election," Marchione said.
"It's going to be exciting,” McDonald said during his speech Thursday night. “I sure hope I win, I think I will but you never know."