BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - Voters may have to wait another week before they know who will be on the ballot in November for the 43rd Senate District.
The race between incumbent Senator Roy McDonald and challenger Kathy Marchione was too close to call after Thursday's primary, so now the battle for the Senate seat has moved to the court room.
Attorneys representing both McDonald and Marchione met with a judge behind closed doors in Saratoga County Court at 9 a.m. Tuesday to learn the rules for re-canvassing voting machines and counting the 1,100 absentee ballots that were cast.
Only 122 votes separate the two candidates, with Marchione having a slight edge right now.
"We're confident that we have a lot of absentee votes that are going to be canvassed," Senator McDonald's attorney Jeff Buley said. "We did an aggressive absentee ballot campaign and we're optimistic that we can overcome our current deficit."
But Marchione's attorney, Michael Cueves, sees the outcome differently. "Historically the machine votes kind of forecast the way the absentees go so if they break the same way, then certainly it holds up but we have reason to believe that we should do better on the absentees than even on the machine," Cueves said.
The absentee ballot count will take place Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m. in Rensselaer County, Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. in Washington County, and Monday, Sept. 24 at 9:30 a.m. in both Saratoga and Columbia Counties.
Re-canvassing will be Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. for Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties and Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. for Columbia County. Washington County re-canvassing is already complete.
Many say the race is a direct result of McDonald's vote for gay marriage, one of the deciding votes in favor of the landmark decision in New York State. Now he is fighting to keep the seat he won four years ago.
Marchione entered the race with the support of the Conservative Republican base.
The outcome of the Republican primary should be concluded next week at the earliest, however both candidates have secured other party lines and will likely both be on the ballot in November. They will face off against Democrat Robin Andrews.
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