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Long Island House Race Still Up In The Air

Yaphank, N.Y. (CBS 2) -- Long Island voters are stunned to learn that a week after the election, thousands of votes have suddenly been found.

Now, in the race between Democratic incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop, of Southampton, and Republican Randy Altschuler, of Smithtown, the lead has abruptly swung in the challenger's favor.

"To get that call was certainly exciting," Altschuler told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan, I was thinking 'wow' -- I may be the next congressman."

Altschuler's campaign surmised the discrepancy was due to human error. They theorized that poll inspectors could have misread machine numbers and relayed incorrect information to the Board of Elections.

Since the recanvasssing, Rep. Bishop went from leading by 3,400 votes to trailing by 383. There are still 13,000 absentee, affidavit, and unscanned ballots yet to be counted.

Although there is no evidence the new voting machines malfunctioned, Bishop backers are going to court seeking a full recount.

CBS 2 reached out to speak with Congressman Bishop Monday and was provided with his campaign spokesman.

"I think the only way we are going to know what actually happened on election day is to do a full hand recount. It is the only way we will be sure of the numbers," Jon Schneider told McLogan.

The Suffolk County Board of Elections began a state mandated audit of 3 percent of the county's voting machines to determine if numbers match.

Some voters blamed the ballot shift on incompetence.

"Here we are taking our time out to vote and how do we know who is really winning," Anna Rugger asked.

"After a full week, we should know where these votes were hidden and why they suddenly appeared," Anne Palermo said.

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