State Board of Elections employees say that 23 signatures on Rep. Bill Owens' Working Families Party petitions are invalid, which still gives the Plattsburgh Democrat enough signatures to qualify for the labor-backed line on Nov. 6.
Mr. Owens would have 71 valid signatures; 60 are required. The Board of Elections will vote to accept the recommendation tomorrow.
But that won't be the end of the line for the WFP challenge. Don Lee, a Matt Doheny supporter, has also filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court that challenges 25 of the petitions because, a private investigation funded by "prominent Republicans" claims, the person gathering the signatures didn't do enough to verify that the people signing were actually who they said they were.
Meanwhile, Mr. Doheny's Independence Party signatures are also being challenged. An initial staff review finds that almost 100 of those signatures are invalid. The Owens campaign highlighted that — despite the fact that 100 is not enough to kick Mr. Doheny off the line. Plus, by proportion, more of Mr. Owens' Working Families signatures have been thrown out than Indy signatures for Mr. Doheny (more Indy signatures are required to get on the ballot).
More signatures could be tossed at a public hearing in Albany today, but according to the Doheny camp, the Democratic objectors need to find more than 400 additional invalid signatures to get Mr. Doheny off that line.
Which is a really long way of explaining that this is going to be a close race, with no stone unturned.