A tabulation error has thrown in doubt the election night victory of Rep. Tim Bishop on Long Island and given Republicans hope that they may add yet another seat to their new majority in the House of Representatives.
Officials in Suffolk County said the error, discovered Friday, shifted several thousand votes and erased Bishop's 3,500 vote margin. That put Republican challenger Randy Altshuler ahead by just under 400 votes in New York's 1st Congressional District. Bishop is seeking a fifth term in the district, which includes many of New York's beach communities.
Board of Elections Commissioner Wayne Rogers told the Associated Press the original numbers came in by telephone on election night and "must have been transcribed incorrectly" and fed into the computer system as figures were relayed through the system by intermediaries. The error turned up in a routine check of voting machine memory cards.
It's not over. Some 9,000 absentee ballots have yet to the counted, the AP said.
"At the point the only way to be sure of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots," Bishop spokesman Jon Schneider said. "Regardless of the outcome, Suffolk County residents need to have confidence in the integrity of the system."