Orleans will count absentee ballots on Thursday
ALBION – The Orleans County Board of Elections will begin counting 561 absentee ballots and 85 affidavit ballots at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
The results of those ballots is awaited for the eight-county 27th Congressional District. The polls on Nov. 6 showed Chris Collins with a lead of about 2,900 votes out of nearly 250,000 cast.
Nate McMurray, Collins’ challenger, conceded on election night, but then insisted all the votes need to be counted before declaring a winner.
There are about 11,000 absentee and affidavit ballots to be counted. McMurray would need to get about 65 percent of those votes to pull ahead of Collins.
“We said from the beginning that every voice must be heard, and we remain committed to ensuring that our service members, retirees, college students, and others who voted absentee are allowed their right to choose their representative in Congress,” McMurray said in a statement today. “Unlike my opponent who hid from voters and hoped to end the race before all the votes were counted, I will see this race through to the last vote. This is democracy at work, and we will continue to fight so that every vote is counted.”
McMurray won in three of the eight counties, but both Orleans and Wyoming gave Collins strong support.
The vote at the polls on Nov. 6 in Orleans was 4,505 for McMurray and 7,269 for Collins. In Wyoming, it was 4,608 for McMurray and 8,281 for Collins.
Collins is in the lead for a fourth term to Congress despite being indicted on insider trading charges about three months ago.
Collins campaigned for the importance of keeping the seat in Republican control to ensure an ally for President Donald Trump. Collins was the first member of Congress to support Trump’s campaign in early 2016. The local congressman has frequently appeared on television news programs as an advocate for the president.