A ballot counting lawsuit filed by New York Senate Candidate Dorey Houle against the New York State Board of Elections, the Orange County Board of Elections and 42nd Senate District Candidate James Skoufis reached several decisions on November 16. The New York State Board of Elections had ruled a dismissal in a petition against them, the Orange County Board of Elections and Skoufis and Acting Supreme Court Justice, Craig Brown had ruled that the Orange County board continue their duties and count of ballots. Both decision documents were submitted to the Orange County Clerk’s office.
The lawsuit filed by Houle challenged the ballot counts accuracy during the November 8 election and challenged the accuracy of the voting machines. The lawsuit also requested that the court name the correct winner in the 42nd Senate District race.
As of November 18, at 5 p.m., the Orange County Board of Elections reported that Skoufis had a recorded 46,192 votes on the Democratic line and 3,016 votes on the Working Families line. Houle had a reported 42,830 votes on the Republican line and 4,952 votes on the Conservative line.
As per the New York State Board of Elections on November 11 at 10:33 p.m., the state had recorded 99,427 total votes for the district. 48,661 votes were recorded for Skoufis while 47,941 votes were recorded for Houle.
The following statement was provided by Skoufis on the recent ruling: “We are glad the court put an end to Dorey Houle’s stonewalling of votes and the counting of absentee ballots was able to resume. We finished election night with an over 1,000 vote lead which was mathematically insurmountable given the breakdown of the remaining ballots. In fact, our lead has only grown with this week’s absentees being counted. Despite Lee Zeldin winning our Senate District by 14%, we forged a bipartisan coalition to prevail. It is truly sad that Dorey Houle refuses to acknowledge reality and, instead, went to court to try and overturn an election.”
Orange County Democratic Committee Chairman Zak Constantine also provided a statement on the case: “We are gratified that Dorey Houle’s desperate attempt to deny the 2022 election has begun to collapse in court. Yesterday, an Acting Supreme Court Justice rejected Ms. Houle’s demands to prevent votes from being counted in Orange County, and he has allowed the Board of Elections to resume their diligent work on behalf of the public, after five days of being unable to do so. Once these counts are complete, James Skoufis will maintain his already substantial lead and be certified as the County’s State Senator,” said Constantine.“Election denialism has no place in politics. Orange County completed a vigorous and competitive election day that we can all be proud of, but certification of results has been stalled in every local race due to this baseless lawsuit. Contrary to her claim of wanting to ‘count every ballot’, Ms. Houle’s suit would exclude lawful votes. We thank the voters, poll workers and candidates from both parties who participated in the 2022 election and look forward to the timely resolution of this unsubstantiated litigation and a final ruling that upholds our state’s pro-democracy values.”
Houle did not respond to request for comment.