What if Doug Hoffman was the winner in the NY23rd House race, and not David Owen? The short story here is that "errors in the vote count have narrowed" between Democrat David Owens and Conservative Doug Hoffman in the special election for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 23rd District. It's interesting to note that David Owens has already been sworn into the House and voted yea for Nancy Pelosi's Health Care bill, after promising constitutients he would vote no.
Washington -- Conservative Doug Hoffman conceded the race in the 23rd Congressional District last week after receiving two pieces of grim news for his campaign: He was down 5,335 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted on election night, and he had barely won his stronghold in Oswego County.
As it turns out, neither was true.
In Oswego County, where Hoffman was reported to lead by only 500 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted election night, inspectors found Hoffman actually won by 1,748 votes -- 12,748 to 11,000.At least 7,178 absentee ballots were turned in, and 10,200 mailed out, with Hamilton district yet to report. These ballots will be counted to determine the winner in this race. According to this report, "Federal and military absentee ballots have until Nov. 16th to be turned in." So what happens if Hoffman won, and conceded only because of the vote status he was given:
Conklin [Communications Director] said the state sent a letter to the House Clerk last week explaining that no winner had been determined in the 23rd District, and therefore the state had not certified the election. But the letter noted that Owens still led by about 3,000 votes, and that the special election was not contested -- two factors that legally allowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to swear in Owens on Friday.The Christian Science Montior (linked above) doesn't report quite that way.
"We sent a letter to the clerk laying out the totals," Conklin said. "The key is that Hoffman conceded, which means the race is not contested. However, all ballots will be counted, and if the result changes, Owens will have to be removed."
But what happens if Hoffman is certified the ultimate winner by the New York State Board of Elections? That’s up to the House of Representatives. The board of elections will certify the result at its December board meeting.
Broadly speaking, each house of Congress is in control of whom it admits to its membership. Hoffman conceded the election right away. So it was an easy call for the Democrats to swear in Owens, based on the election results reported by the board as of Nov. 5. But if Hoffman is certified as the winner, in all likelihood he would be allowed to take the seat.Beyond the obvious intrigue of discovering the winner, is this question: Did Pelosi receive this order before the late Saturday night vote on Health Care? And who gave the Hoffman campaign erroneous results on election night.