Republican James Tedisco has taken a 12-vote lead in New York's still-too-close-to-call special Congressional election, as county elections officials continue to recanvass Tuesday's ballots.Democrat Scott Murphy held a 59-vote lead after ballots were first tallied Tuesday night, then saw that margin whittled to 25 Wednesday after one county reported that some of the votes had been miscounted.According to politickerny.com, Rensselaer and Dutchess countiesaltered their final vote totals during recanvassing on Thursday, enabling Tedisco to take the lead. Tedisco, the state Assembly Minority Leader, now has 77,236 votes, while Murphy, a businessman, has 77,224 votes.The winner in the hard-fought race to replace newly appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in the House will not be known until absentee ballots are counted, a process that will begin Monday but probably won't be completed until the middle of the month, at the earliest. Both parties are preparing for a potentially prolonged legal fight after the absentee count.The Albany Times Union reported late Thursday that on paper, the absentee voting may favor Tedisco slightly, if those residents of the upstate district who asked for absentee ballots vote strictly along party lines.According to the Times Union, 4,475 absentee ballots were mailed to Republican voters, and 2,928 of those had been returned. Meanwhile, 3,390 absentee ballots had been mailed to registered Democrats, and 2,160 of those had been returned. Another 1,973 ballots had been mailed to independents and voters belonging to third parties, and 935 of those had been returned.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.