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UPDATE: Maffei declares victory in 24th District race

Democrat Dan Maffei celebrates at Pensabene’s in Syracuse on election night.

Democrat Dan Maffei celebrates at Pensabene’s in Syracuse on election night. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— The 24th District encompasses all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and parts of Oswego County. Maffei had a commanding lead in Onondaga, with 96,440 votes, while Buerkle only has 73,546. Rozum took the expected 8 percent with 15,295. She conceded the race Tuesday night after gaining the highest vote for a Green Party candidate in a three-way race in the 24th District.

For her part, Buerkle wasn’t quite ready to give up. Earlier Tuesday evening, she urged Republican supporters to hold out hope.

“This is a replay of what happened two years ago,” she said, referring to the 2010 race when the vote had to go to the absentee ballots. In that race, the AP called it too soon, handing the victory to Maffei when, in fact, Buerkle had gotten more votes.

As of Wednesday morning, Maffei still held a 4 percent lead with 99 percent of the vote counted. But Buerkle issued a statement reminding everyone that the absentees were still out.

“In 2010, we were trailing on election night, only to see more votes come in and the outcome changed,” she said. “With so many ballots still to be recorded, it is important that we make sure there is an accurate counting of all votes. Our right to vote has been bought and paid for by the men and women of our armed services, and we owe it to all who have paid the ultimate price to count these ballots and allow the Democratic process to run its course.”

In addition, both the Maffei and Buerkle campaigns have agreed to impound the ballots, meaning all paper ballots and other election materials to be returned to the boards of elections on election night for later review. Maffei’s and Buerkle’s attorneys agreed to do so Monday, Nov. 5.

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