The USDOJ is suing the State of New York in regard to the upcoming special election in the 20th Congressional District between Scott Murphy and Jim Tedisco. Already the jackboot heel of Obama presses on Liberty’s neck! Get out the shootin’ ahrns!
Just kidding. Justice is suing on behalf of the Defense Department to make sure overseas ballots — mostly going to U.S. servicemembers from the district — have at least 30 and preferably 45 days to make their transit from New York to wherever and back again, and still be counted. Republicans generally consider military votes to favor their candidates, and both Tedisco and the state GOP chairman have applauded the decision. (Tedisco even singled out Obama for praise, which was clever of him.)
As the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand’s House seat, vacated by her ascension to the Senate, was called on February 11 for March 31 (though Gillibrand’s appointment was announced way back on January 23) , DOJ isn’t sure the overseas votes have had enough time. Hotline On Call reports that nine of the ten counties in the district sent their ballots out late. The Staten Island Advance says ballots were certified for race only 20 days before the election. Justice may want overseas ballots received up till April 13 — a week after the usual deadline — to be counted.
Governor Paterson’s spokesman protests that everything has been done aboveboard, but nobody listens to Paterson anymore. (Paterson appeared to be in no hurry to set the election back in January.)
One question: what about Eric Sundwall? The Libertarian candidate is on the current ballot, but his petitions have been challenged. The election board meets today to decide his status. If he’s knocked off, would Justice demand a do-over? Al Franken may get to the Hill before the new Congressman from New York.