Another 60 ballots were counted in the First Congressional District race today, though official counting will not resume until the middle of next week, according to a spokesman for Republican challenger Randy Altschuler.
Rob Ryan, Altschuler's spokesman, said his candidate netted a gain of 5 votes on Friday. According to Ryan's numbers, Altschuler currently remains 264 votes behind incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop, D - Southampton. Ryan's numbers, however differ from Bishop's camp.
Jon Schneider, Bishop's spokesman, said coming into Friday's count the Democrat held a lead of 277 votes. Ryan's math would have given Bishop a lead of 269.
Both sides confirmed that Hon. Peter Mayer, presiding over the judicial review of what started as over 2,000 challenges, would not be return to Board of Elections headquarters until next Wednesday. Currently, approximately 1,400 challenged votes remain to be counted (or tossed out if challenged successfully), about 1,000 of which belong to Altschuler.
More than half of Altschuler's challenges - approximately 650 - are based on residency. Ryan rattled off several reasons why they could be successful objections.
"More than one person received STAR tax relief in New York City," he said. "New York City drivers' licenses. Some mortgage applications listed New York City as a primary residence - so they either lied to the mortgage company, which is a crime, or lied to the Board of Elections. We have one person who's voted 32 times in New York City since 1989, with a house for sale in Southampton. Other people voted 21 times, 30 times, 32, 16, 33 times in New York City before voting out here."
But will those be enough to warrant a successful challenge?
"That will have to be determined by the judge," Ryan said. "That's why we're bringing them before him."
While Schneider said Altschuler's lawyer, Vincent J. Messina, would begin arguing his residency challenges on Monday - Messina had said in court earlier this week he would be prepared to do so - Ryan said that signature disputes were on the agenda for early next week. Residency challenges, Ryan said, would not begin until the middle of next week.