Absentee ballot totals were announced Tuesday in four of the eleven counties that make up the 23rd Congressional Disrrict.
The result: Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman narrowed the gap with Democrat Doug Owens by just 214 votes as the results from Oneida, Madison, Hamilton and Fulton counties came in, according to the Associated Press.
The bottom line:Ã‚Â Hoffman’s chance of catching Owens grows more remote.
Hoffman needs the votes of about two-thirds of the approximately 6,000 absentee ballots in order to make up the 3,o00 vote deficit.Ã‚Â He only got about 45% of the vote on election night and most absentee ballots were sent in before Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race.
The absentee ballot count began this week because the deadline for receiving absentee ballots in this special election was extended.
Hoffman conceded defeat on election night, believing he trailed by more than 5,000 votes.Ã‚Â Problems in counting ballots, particularly in Oswego County, led to that perceived deficit.
Because Hoffman conceded, Owens could be sworn in as the new Congressman before the vote was certified.Ã‚Â And because he was sworn in, he was able to cast one of the decisive votes for a health care reform package in the House.
Hoffman seemed to withdraw his concession in an interview with radio talk show host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, but his staff said Hoffman was not “unconceding”.Ã‚Â Rather, they planned to wait and see how the vote turned out before deciding on any further course of action.
On his Twitter account, Hoffman threw out one more tidbit:Ã‚Â “Reporters want to know if I think I can still win this race. Remember I was a part of the 1980 Miracle on Ice. I believe in miracles.”
The Miracle on Ice is the nickname given to the Olympic hockey game in Lake Placid in which the underdog American team beat the dominant Russian team.Ã‚Â Game announcer Al Michaels’ game-ending call, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”, is the genesis for the nickname.
Hoffman didn’t play on the team.Ã‚Â He was an accountant for the Lake Placid Olympic Games.