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L.I. Senate Race Results May Not Be Final When State Legislature Returns

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- It was looking less likely Wednesday that the presumptive winner of a pivotal state Senate race on Long Island will take his seat in time for the Legislature's return to Albany.

Democrat Todd Kaminsky won 780 more votes than Republican challenger Chris McGrath in a special Senate election last week, one of four to hold empty legislative seats.

But McGrath has not conceded and wants voting machines rechecked.
Officials also must count 3,000 absentee and emergency ballots before announcing official results.

That process began Wednesday when nearly 900 absentee ballots were opened, with the rest expected to be counted over the next few days. The Senate, meanwhile, returns Tuesday to begin the final weeks of the 2016 session.

Between 3,000 and 3,300 absentee and emergency ballots were submitted in the race, with a slight majority from Democrats. McGrath would have to pick up a large percentage of them to overcome his deficit.

The winner replaces ex-GOP Senate Leader Dean Skelos, who was convicted of corruption.

The Senate returns Tuesday. Democrats had hoped Kaminsky could be sworn in before lawmakers reconvene.

"For four months, the voters of the 9th Senate District have been without a representative following the conviction of Dean Skelos,: said Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy. ``The Senate GOP must not attempt to disenfranchise any voters or stall the process.''

A spokesman for the Senate Republicans said the campaign simply wants to ensure all votes are counted correctly.

Democrats and Republicans now have 31 seats each in the Senate, so a Kaminsky win would give Democrats the majority. But Republican control of the chamber will likely continue -- at least for now -- thanks to six Democrats who broke with their party to empower the GOP.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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