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McMurray attends orientation while trailing in NY-27 race


Ballots are still being counted in New York's 27 District, but that didn't stop Democratic candidate Nate McMurray from heading to Washington D.C. for new member orientation.

McMurray said it’s customary to receive an invitation in close races.

“We want to do our job. And our job is to be ready in case we win,” said McMurray. “I want to be ready and they were kind enough to extend the invite to the event out here. At first I was reluctant to go because there’s so much going on back at Western New York, but I thought it was the right thing to do. It’s my job and until it’s not my job I got to make sure I do everything to fulfil my job for the people of Western New York.”

Republican incumbent Chris Collins currently leads McMurray by around 3,000 votes as absentee and affidavit ballots are being counted.

Genesee and Wyoming County began their process Tuesday. Erie County Republican Election Commissioner Ralph Mohr said unlike other counties, Erie waits until the time has expired for any further ballots to come in to the board of elections before they begin their count.

“That’s because we still receive a large number of ballots from overseas and military voters,” said Mohr. Other counties don’t receive as many absentee ballots or the 27th congressional district doesn’t take up that significant part of their county so they begin their process earlier.”

McMurray has called for a recount of last Tuesday’s election results, but that can’t happen without intervention from a judge in New York.

“The major votes will be counted next week in Erie County. The major number of outstanding votes. We’re just in the process of painstakingly reviewing and making sure we’re in the room so that we can be confident that things were done correctly,” McMurray said.

Mohr said what’s happening right now is a canvass and it’s the normal procedure for elections.

“Recount is not the proper word. It’s actually a canvass of the results. Before you have a recount, you have to have an initial count and the boards of elections are still in the process of their initial count,” Mohr said.

“The process that we undertake to do the canvass is totally transparent. We invite the candidates and their representatives to be present and all the stages of the proceedings. If they have an issue to the respect of ballots which may have been objected to or not counted, those issues have been resolved in court without the necessity of recounting all the ballots that have been cast.”

While there has been court supervision of the canvass decades ago, Mohr said he doesn’t recall ever having a court order for a recount in Erie County.

Tuesday is the deadline for absentee ballots to arrive and most of them will be counted over the next few days.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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