- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED:

Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman said on Friday he is considering filing a recount claim in light of computer irregularities that have been reported. He has until Monday to make that decision.

Mr. Hoffman conceded the New York’s 23rd Congressional District race to winner Democrat Bill Owens on Election Night, but has had second thoughts.

Three voting computers were shown to have had a virus and had to be reprogrammed, Mr. Hoffman told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

“If I had this information on Election Night, I would not have conceded,” he said

Mr. Owens, a Plattburgh lawyer, won over Mr. Hoffman, a CPA, in a race that captured national headlines after Republican candidate and one-time frontrunner Dede Scozzafava bowed out of the race and threw her support behind Mr. Owens.

“What your listeners need to know is that on Election Night, we’re shown to be down by 6,000 votes and through recanvassing, they discovered computers that were giving the wrong information and polling sites that reported the wrong information — and that lead dropped down to less than 3,000 votes by this week,” Mr. Hoffman said, referring to Election Board officials who are investigating.

“And now they are counting the absentee ballots that were scheduled to come in no later than Monday of this week.”

Mr. Hoffman said he doesn’t think the three voting machines were tampered. He does, however, ask: “Why didn’t they look at all of the machines when they knew the three had a particular computer problem.”

The Gouverneur Times broke the story about the computer virus and is investigating what happened with the voting machines.

The WatertownDailyTimes.com reported Friday that with just 3,072 votes left uncounted, Mr. Owens’ win is mathematically insurmountable.

“It’s a long shot, but we’re waiting for every vote to be counted,” Mr. Hoffman told The Washington Times.

“We have people that are looking into this and we have until Monday to make that determination and file a recount claim,” he said. “At this point, we’re still anxiously waiting to find out what the final count comes down to be and, at that point, what the gap is.”