By Nancy K. Matthis | Sunday, November 7th, 2010 at 1:52 am
Every vote counts, and you have to watch those who count the votes like a hawk. Those are the two take-away lessons for tea party patriots who are newly involved in the political process and coming up against the party machines for the first time.
First let’s consider the tight race in Virginia’s House District 11 because of the notable irregularities. The local tea party endorsed Republican candidate Keith Fimian, who was trying to unseat big spender (of our money) Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly. After the initial vote count was announced, Connolly claimed victory with a slim margin of 968 votes. However, we’ve just gotten these details from the non-partisan Northern Virginia Tea Party, whose co-chairmen are one Republican and one Democrat:
Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (D)
111,695 or 49.22%
Keith S. Fimian (R)
110,727 or 48.79%
There are several developments in the Fimian – Connolly race that may call into question the accuracy of the current vote totals. Here are the issues that are being looked at:
In Fairfax County, the voting machines failed to register votes from over 800 ballots, including 106 in the Sideburn precinct alone. (Keith Fimian won that precinct 58% – 40%.) In Prince William County, the machines failed to register votes on more than 200 additional ballots.
In several precincts, there were actually more votes than voters. That is, voting machines reported a higher number of votes than the number of voters marked on the pollbooks as having voted in the election.
As of Election Day, there were over 1,150 absentee ballots that had been mailed out to military and other overseas voters but had yet to be received back in the 11th Congressional District.
We also understand that officials in Prince William County rejected over 280 absentee ballots, with another 200-300 absentee ballots being rejected in Fairfax County.
…these are some of the questions that are being considered at this time.
In Arizona’s House District 8, incumbent Democrat Gabrielle Giffords has claimed victory over Republican challenger and Iraq veteran Jesse Kelly, with a lead of 3,641 votes in precinct totals. But there are an unknown number of absentee ballots and possibly a large number of provisional ballots which have not yet been reported by the media.
In California’s House District 11, Republican challenger David Harmer had the support of the Pleasanton/NorCal TEA Party against incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney. Votes are still being counted, and the counting process could continue until Thanksgiving, after which there may be a recount.
In California’s House District 20, incumbent Democrat Jim Costa is trailing slightly behind newcomer and Republican candidate Andy Vidak, a member of the Bakersfield Tea Party Patriots. Votes are still coming in.
In Illinois’ House District 8, Republican challenger Joe Walsh holds a lead of 553 votes in precinct totals over incumbent Democratic Melissa Bean. Bean is hoping to erase the Republican’s lead with absentee ballot counting from the infamous Cook County.
In Kentucky House District 6, incumbent Democrat Ben Chandler holds a 600 vote lead in precinct totals over Republican challenger Andy Barr, who has asked for a recanvass.
Another undecided race is playing out in New York’s House District 1. Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, a self-funded local businessman, ran against Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop. On election night, Tim Bishop claimed victory:
(Nov. 3, 2010) United States Representative Tim Bishop appeared last night at the Islandia Marriot to claim victory in his race against Randy Altschuler, a millionaire businessman. However, with absentee ballots left to be counted, Mr. Altschuler declined to concede.
According to the Suffolk Board of Elections, only 3,461 votes separated the two candidates in the hard-fought and expensive race. Mr. Bishop had 50.96 percent of the vote to Mr. Altschuler’s 49.04 percent, with a total of 181,043 votes cast….
But after more serious ballot scrutiny, that 3,461 vote lead evaporated, and became a slim margin of 392 in favor of Altschuler. Absentee ballots remain to be counted.
In New York’s House District 25, Republican challenger and tea party favorite Ann Marie Buerkle is holding a slim lead in precinct totals over Democratic incumbent Daniel Maffei, with a margin of 659 votes. An estimated 9,500 absentee ballots remain uncounted.
In North Carolina’s House District 2, Republican challenger Renee Ellmers received 1,646 votes more than seven-term incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge. Etheridge is expected to request a recount.
In Texas House District 27, Republican challenger Blake Farenthold holds a lead of just 792 votes over 28-year incumbent Democrat Solomon Ortiz:
Ortiz has not conceded, however. On Friday, based on what he termed “numerous irregularities,” he said he would request a manual recount of the 101,116 votes cast in the race. He has said that the irregularities include the “misplaced” ballots in Nueces County, a power outage at an early voting site, and a polling site that opened almost an hour late on Election Day, “depriving many from casting their vote.”
In Washington House District 2, incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen appears to be holding on to his lead over tea party favorite and Republican challenger John Koster, with a 3,841 vote margin as of Saturday night.
The Right Point of View — Congressional Race Still Up in the Air- Randy Altschuler Ahead
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.