The close congressional race on the East End of Long Island, which incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop appeared likely to win, is now up in the air after the Suffolk County Board of Elections found it had misreported the unofficial results by nearly 4,000 votes.
Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, who if he wins would become the second Jewish Republican in the House, is now reported to be in the lead by 383 votes. Bishop had initially been reported to be ahead by 3,461 votes.
But there are said to be 10,600 absentee and affidavit ballots yet to count and Bishop is requesting that a complete recount be conducted by hand to ensure the accuracy of the vote. More than 180,000 votes were cast.
"The vote count released is far from final; rather, this is simply one of many steps to ensure that every voter’s voice is heard through our electoral process,” Bishop said through a spokesman. “At this point the only way to be sure of the accuracy of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots. Regardless of the outcome, Suffolk County residents need to have confidence in the integrity of the count. There is a reason that Suffolk County residents insisted on having a paper backup and these circumstances demand we use it.”