Amedore takes oath of office with appeal still pending - Columbia-Greene Media: News

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Amedore takes oath of office with appeal still pending

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:00 am

NEW YORK — With an appeal still underway in the race for the 46th Senate District, Republican George Amedore has filed an oath of office and said he’s ready to act as a state senator.

“Following the State Board of Elections certification of my election to the 46th Senate District, I filed my oath of office today to serve the families of Albany, Greene, Montgomery, Schenectady and Ulster Counties,” Amedore stated in a press release.

A Montgomery County judge certified Amedore as the winner by 37 votes after six weeks of ballot counting. The campaign of Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk has appealed that ruling, arguing that more than 330 ballots ruled invalid— due to “minor errors and incorrect instructions,” according to Tkaczyk spokesman Gary Ginsburg— be opened and counted. Democrats are confident that if more ballots are opened, Tkaczyk will come out victorious.

“We’re confident that the judges of the appellate division are going to ensure all voters’ voices are heard and not allow hyper-technical errors to disenfranchise hundreds of New Yorkers,” said Ginsburg.

But Republicans are eager to put the counting behind them.

“I have tremendous respect for the appellate process, and look forward to a swift decision,” Amedore stated in the release. “I am eager to get to work on behalf of my constituents so we can keep building on the progress we’ve made in turning New York around.”

A ruling from the Appellate Division was expected this week, but had not been made at press time.

Meanwhile, a group of Tkaczyk supporters have drafted a petition to pressure the court to count every vote in the race.

“By failing to count our votes, we have been disenfranchised from local, state and federal races,” states the online petition, which was drafted by Carole Furman and Barbara Bravo, two Ulster county poll workers whose votes were among those ruled invalid. “As Election Inspectors, we have been trained to resolve technical problems to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to vote. It is outrageous that, because of improper guidance from the Board of Elections, our votes haven't been counted.”

The poll workers were told to vote early using special ballots that were cast before the designated two-week period and therefore ruled invalid.

“In a democracy, every vote must be counted,” states the petition. “And in the Tkaczyk-Amedore race, with the result so close, we can't know who really won the election until every voice is heard.”

The petition currently has more than 4,700 signatures.

Tkaczyk’s appeal was heard in the Apellate Division of the State Supreme Court on Monday.

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