In a ballsy move, despite being down by 178 votes at last count, Republican Jim Tedisco has petitioned Dutchess County Supreme Court to declare him the winner of the NY-20 Congressional post-election. The logic escapes us, but the Hudson Register-Star says Tedisco also wants all the votes, machine or paper, re-examined, except for the hundreds of absentee votes he has challenged, which he wants to remain unopened.
The vote count that increased Scott Murphy’s lead only reflects votes counted up till mid-afternoon, at which time the Republican representatives to the process left for lunch and never came back (one of them went to the Yankees’ game).
At the Washington Independent David Weigel says “voters typically turn on candidates who refuse to admit defeat,” but this may not be the concern of the Republicans (whom Tedisco represents not only as a candidate, but also as outgoing assembly minority leader and elder): for one thing, by drawing this thing out they decrease the time between the special election and the next official one for the seat, screwing with the presumed Democratic winner; for another, if they can tar the eventual negative result as an act of activist judge usurpation, that would add to the sense of grievance that currently animates their party nationally.
Update 4/18: National Review says Tedisco’s request is a legal gambit, and not necessarily a demand “to declare him the winner by acclamation.”