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NY-23: Absentees (Still) Point to a Democratic Win

I see that Doug Hoffman has “un-conceded” in the NY-23 special election after some prodding from Glenn Beck. Unfortunately for the Conservative Party candidate, the absentee ballot count so far points to a victory for Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.). The key problem for Hoffman: Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate who was forced out of the race, is winning around one in five absentee ballots so far; she only won one in twenty ballots on election day.

The Watertown Daily Times has the more-or-less final results of the election before absentee ballots were counted. The conservative Gouverneur Times has those results plus the final totals of three counties — three of the seven counties carried by Hoffman on election night — with absentees tallied up.

On election night, voters cast 2,365 ballots in Hamilton County: Hoffman won 50.0% of the vote, Owens won 37.6% and Scozzafava won 12.4%. There were 207 absentee ballots cast. The breakdown:

Doug Hoffman – 81 (39.1%)

Bill Owens – 50 (24.2%)

Dede Scozzafava – 76 (36.7%)

On election night, voters cast 17,674 ballots in Madison County: Hoffman won 50.8% of the vote, Owens won 45.8% and Scozzafava won 3.4%. There were 496 absentee ballots cast. The breakdown:

Doug Hoffman – 170 (34.3%)

Bill Owens – 203 (40.9%)

Dede Scozzafava – 122 (24.6%)

On election night, voters cast 5,165 ballots in Oneida County: Hoffman won 53.8% of the vote, Owens won 39.2% and Scozzafava won 7.0%. There were 762 absentee ballots cast. The breakdown:

Doug Hoffman – 446 (58.5%)

Bill Owens – 219 (28.7%)

Dede Scozzafava – 97 (12.7%)

That’s a lot of variance between three counties. In one, Hoffman did better than he did on election day; in another, both Hoffman and Owens did worse than they did on election day; in another, Owens lost on election day but won on absentees. But the total picture from this batch of 1,465 absentee ballots is:

Doug Hoffman – 697 (47.6%)

Bill Owens – 472 (32.2%)

Dede Scozzafava – 296 (20.1%)

That’s a net 225 votes for Hoffman, who’s down by 2,951 votes with 6,123 left to count. It’s simply not the kind of ratio that will deliver victory. If the numbers keep breaking this way, it would point an Owens win of around 2000 votes. But keep in mind, we don’t have absentees yet in the huge Owens counties of Clinton and St. Lawrence.

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