Doug Hoffman may need absentee votes to run 53 percent more in his favor than the ballot box did to overtake Bill Owens in the 23rd Congressional District race.
The Gouverneur Times was one of many publications buzzing with the possibility that Mr. Hoffman, who trails by 3,176 votes, could overtake Mr. Owens in the absentee counting. The online publication wrote today:
I called all 11 county elections boards and could pretty quickly determine this was factually incorrect. Here are the true figures:
|Absentees sent||Absentees returned|
Also, it's safe to assume that Jefferson County sent the most military ballots out because of Fort Drum. Jerry Eaton, the county Republican elections commissioner, said 605 military ballots were sent, but 51 were returned. Military voters aren't the majority of absentee voters. Furthermore, it is unlikely that military voters will decide this election.
If Republican Dede Scozzafava gets 359 absentee votes, or five percent of the total absentee vote, Mr. Hoffman would need 5,113 votes, or 68.9 percent of the absentee vote, to win.
Ms. Scozzafava dropped out of the race with three days left to go, after several people likely returned their ballots. A Siena poll released the Saturday before the election suggested she had as much as 20 percent support.
The higher Ms. Scozzafava's absentee numbers go, the more of an impossibility that Mr. Hoffman wins becomes. It's not mathematically impossible. But realistically, it's not going to happen.
John Conklin, the state Board of Elections spokesman, said Nov. 5 when we had different numbers: "If his margin was 4,000 votes and we have 6,000 absentees back, he's going to have to get 80 percent. I've never heard of a situation that broke that way."