Chris Collins to win in NY-27

Democrat Nathan McMurray gained ground in absentee ballots but not enough

Mike Baggerman
November 20, 2018 - 1:24 pm

A bipartisan group of volunteers open absentee ballots in New York's 27th Congressional Race. November 20, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Congressman Chris Collins lost in the absentee balloting for New York's 27th Congressional District in Erie County to Nate McMurray by about 800 votes but will likely be re-elected to another term in congress thanks to a margin of about 1,400 votes.

Ralph Mohr, the Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner, told WBEN that McMurray tallied 3,279 absentee and emergency votes to Collins' 2,422. Representatives from both campaigns were on hand and believed there was a difference of 2,241 votes going into today.

An additional 941 affidavit votes will be counted on Wednesday. However, even if McMurray won all of those votes, he will still fall short in the race. McMurray has yet to officially concede and he told WBEN he will wait until the final vote comes in on Wednesday, then he will assess the situation with his team. He is scheduled to hold a press conference at some time on Wednesday.


Collins defeated McMurray in the midterm elections on November 6 by about 2,800 votes. Because the deficit was so tight and absentee, affidavit, and emergency ballots weren't counted, McMurray did not officially concede.


At the Erie County Board of Elections, a bipartisan group of about 20 people are physically opening the ballots, sending them to the head of a table, where the ballots are then taken to an official scanner. The scanner jammed early-on in the counting process but in those situations, the batch of votes are cancelled, re-scanned, and any ripped ballots are physically counted by hand.

Chris Collins' campaign released a statement:

As did Nate McMurray:


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