BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A local race has become a political nail biter as elections officials tally the remaining absentee ballots.
Thursday, officials from the Erie County Board of Elections and representatives of Tim Kennedy and Betty Jean-Grant huddled into an office, but not to begin counting absentee ballots.
Kennedy's campaign attorney Terry Connors said, "Essentially what we're saying is that count the votes...unless there's an objection."
The State Senate Democratic primary race between the two is separated by just 91 votes, with Kennedy on top. But with some 1,100 absentee ballots and 400 affidavit ballots, it's still anyone's race.
Kennedy's communications director John Mackowiak said, "We're sure that once the votes are counted that Senator Kennedy will maintain his lead and be re-elected."
The Kennedy campaign has asked a State Supreme Court judge to monitor the ballot-counting process and decide the status of disputed ballots.
"Basically the way things are going to move forward is you start counting the ballots, if there's a dispute whether it be from Senator Kennedy's campaign or Betty Jean-Grant's campaign, those disputes are laid aside so the process can continue to move forward so that voters have an answer as expeditiously as possible," Mackowiak said.
It's a process that could take a few days to a week.
Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said, "We thought we had all our bases covered, and we thought everyone was in agreement with respect to the procedure which we had laid forth. It's our position trhat there's no basis to delay or change the board's process at all."
Betty Jean-Grant added, "I think I'm the winner. In fact, I know I'm the winner. Regardless of whatever I think, I'm the winner."
The remaining votes will begin to be counted on Friday.
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