Wednesday November 7, 2012

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- A full ballot to decide races from president to special local elections drove a constant stream of New Yorkers to the polls. Statewide, residents picked their junior senator, local representative in the House, and seats in the state Senate and Assembly.

In Hoosick Falls, poll workers at the armory reported robust turnout, and a steady stream of residents revolved through the polling site mid-afternoon. Two local congressional races were expected to be closely contested, although results were only partially available by press time Tuesday.

Anticipating a too-close-to-call outcome in the 21st congressional district, U.S. Rep. Bill Owens’ campaign filed an impound order in court in advance Monday, laying the groundwork for a potential ballot-by-ballot recount.

Owens, the incumbent Democrat, was looking at a tight campaign with Republican businessman Matt Doheny, who unsuccessfully challenged him two years earlier in a race that then included a third party Conservative candidate. Doheny led in early partial returns.

Some voters displaced

With Election Day following a week after superstorm Sandy, an executive order signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed New Yorkers displaced by the storm to vote by provisional ballot at any polling site in the state. Displaced voters had to be registered in one of nine federally-declared disaster counties downstate, and were only eligible to vote for president, U.S. Senate, and any other candidates or initiatives appearing on the ballot where the voter was officially registered. The provisional ballots will then be mailed to the county Board of Elections where the voter is registered for verification and later tabulation.

At the armory, five New Yorkers registered in affected counties downstate had cast ballots in Hoosick by shortly after 2 p.m.

The allowance came amid concerns that many, still displaced and living with friends or family or temporarily at a second home, could lose their opportunity to vote on Election Day. Tuesday morning, election officials reported few storm-related problems including two polling sites in Westchester County that had voting machines but did not have power when the polls opened statewide at 6 a.m.

The only other statewide race besides president was for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat, and she was projected to handily win a full, six-year term against her Republican opponent Wendy Long.

Early results showed first-term incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook leading by a health margin ahead of his opponent, Julian Schreibman, in the 19th congressional district.

In the 43rd Senate district, incumbent state Sen. Roy McDonald continued to receive support despite the mid-September suspension of his campaign, but Republican Kathleen Marchione led by a healthy margin, ahead of both McDonald and Democrat Robin Andrews.

Partial election returns indicated new terms to the state Assembly for both local representatives. In the 107th Assembly district, incumbent Republican Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin of Melrose led his Democratic challenger, Spencertown resident Cheryl Roberts.

Two-term Republican Assemblyman Tony Jordan, a Jackson resident running in the 113th Assembly district, faced Round Lake resident and village trustee Carrie Woerner, the Democrat.