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Scott Murphy clings to lead

But unless those ballots yet to be counted give either candidate a sizable lead, it is likely that this election will come down to legal challenges that representatives of both campaigns have been raising during the counting process.

Counting the absentee ballots is a painstaking process. Before the vote can start being tallied, copies of the voter rolls, the absentee voter's ballot application and a copy of both sides of the ballot's mailing envelope must be presented to representatives of both campaigns. Either side can raise a challenge if they detect anything they feel would violate state election law.

Then the ballot itself is inspected, and challenges can be raised again. On Monday, April 13, 350 ballots in Saratoga County had been challenged, said Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Diane Wade.

"If it's objected to, it's put aside," said Wade. "Either the judge will rule on them or the campaigns will decide to rule them out."

Election officials in Saratoga County"the district's most populous"had hoped that the counting of domestic absentee ballots would be completed on Tuesday afternoon, but as of press time no results were available. Tedisco carried Saratoga on election day, 30,036 to 25,429.

Kirsten Gillibrand's absentee ballot was challenged in Columbia County on Tuesday, as Republican poll watchers argued that she was in the district on election day, and thus should have voted in person. Gillibrand, who vacated the seat when Gov. David Paterson picked her to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, was at Murphy's Saratoga Springs victory party on the evening of March 31.

Gllibrand fired back in an editorial posted to The Huffington Post, a news-oriented opinion blog.

"National Republicans are trying to turn the 20th District of New York into the next Minnesota," she wrote, referencing the six-month old legal battle over a close Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. "Every day that the national Republicans waste with their dishonest stalling tactics is another day Upstate New Yorkers are deprived their Member of Congress."

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, in a mailer soliciting donations for Tedisco's recount efforts, made a similar attack on Democrats.

"Nancy Pelosi and the DC Democrats have sent in a team of attorneys to challenge Republican absentee ballots. They will not rest until the election results show a victory for Jim's Democrat opponent," said Giuliani.

Continue to check www.spotlightnews.com for the latest vote tallies and updates on the election.""

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