NY-23 Race Isn't Over Yet: Hoffman Narrowing Gap

Democrat Owens is already sworn in, but absentee ballots remain
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2009 3:48 PM CST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi administers the House oath to Rep. Bill Owens on Nov. 6.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – An odd twist in that closely watched congressional race from upstate New York: Even though Democrat Bill Owens is already sworn into office to represent NY-23, the state is still counting the ballots—and the margin between him and Conservative Doug Hoffman is shrinking. At last count, Owens led by about 3,000 votes, meaning the race will be determined by 10,000 or so absentee ballots yet to be counted, reports the Syracuse Post-Standard.

It's still highly unlikely the results will be overturned, but the state sent a letter to the House noting it had yet to certify a winner. Hoffman conceded on election night when he got bad information on the vote count, and a subsequent recanvassing has changed the totals. Because he conceded, Nancy Pelosi's swearing-in of Owens—the day before the health care vote—was legit. But if the final results change, Owens would have to leave office. "We’re going to see how this week shapes up, and then we’re going to determine what to do," said Hoffman spokesman.