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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I spoke too soon

I should have kept my big mouth shut.

I prematurely celebrated the end of the nastier-by-the-day campaign in New York's 20th Congressional District (see previous entry), and now we're stuck with this thing for at least another two weeks.

More than 154,000 ballots cast, and the margin at the end of the day is 65 votes.

Not 6,500. Not 650. A microscopic 65 votes.

So now the attention turns to the absentee ballots - numbering at least 6,000 - which will take until April 13 to count.

And then, with the race probably still close, the inevitable lawsuits will follow (one has been filed already), the wheels of electoral justice will move slowly, and the next thing you know, we're Minnesota on the Hudson.

And worse yet, the good people of the 20th District probably will go for months without representation in the House - in which case nobody wins.

In the Freeman newsroom late Tuesday, when it became clear the race was a cliffhanger, we referred to it as an early April Fool's joke. But this is no laughing matter, and it certainly won't be resolved the end of April 1.



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