Erie County begins NY27 canvassing this week

Caputo: outcome likely won't change

Tom Puckett
November 19, 2018 - 4:00 am
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The canvassing of the counties in NY27 has been well underway as we move one step closer to certification in the race between Nate McMurray and Chris Collins.

Erie County will begin its canvas this week and this is expected to finalize the outcome of the hotly contested race.

"I think by Wednesday, we'll know who wins this thing," said Canisius College Political Science professor Kevin Hardwick.  "Unless it's within 200-300 votes, then you'll have the courts getting involved". 

He said if Collins is up by more than a thousand votes when the absentee votes are tallied, then it's over. 

The Collins and McMurray campaigns will have the opportunity to review all unopened absentee ballots in Erie County and make objections before the Erie County Board of Elections begins to open and count those absentee ballots on Tuesday

"This is the normal procedure for elections," says GOP strategist Michael Caputo. "We're counting every single vote, every absentee ballot, every provisional ballot, and people whose name weren't on the ballot rolls, they signed a statement saying they could vote, all those votes have to be counted." 

The process takes a leap beginning today as Erie County canvasses its sizable number of ballots.

Caputo says the question in this race is how close the race is between the two. "It's close enough for the person to be losing to be hopeful in the process," says Caputo. Collins leads by roughly 3,000 votes. But he doesn't put a lot of hopes on a change in the outcome. "Typically, those absentee ballots tend to reflect the same results as in the regular ballots," explains Collins.

While there are more than 10,000 absentee ballots being counted across the eight counties in that district, the outcome of the race could become clear this week as Erie County becomes the last of the counties to count its absentee ballots. The county, the largest in the district, has about half of the total absentee ballots cast.

Collins is scheduled to be tried in February 2020 on charges accusing him of leaking confidential information about a biopharmaceutical company that allowed his son and others to avoid huge stock losses.

Caputo says in this race, McMurray might get some more absentee votes than Collins, who's under indictment, but the margin is too much to overcome. 

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