G.O.P. chair predicts Storobin’s 143-vote lead over Fidler will grow, despite partisan disadvantage

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Storobin mailer featuring Giuliani. ()
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Republican David Storobin has a 143-vote lead over Democrat Lew Fidler, after election officials recounted votes cast on Election Day, with more than 700 paper ballots still to be counted.

"We've declared victory for David Storobin," said the Republican County Chairman of Brooklyn, Craig Eaton. That's "based on the votes that were tallied on Election Day plus our belief that when all the paper ballots are counted, that we will prove David's lead is even larger than we know now."

The race is going to be officially decided only after the counting of the paper ballots, which will begin next week.

Both campaigns estimate, per what the Board of Elections has told them, that officials provided 2,090 paper ballots, approximately 1,200 were returned. So far, the board has indicated approximately 750 of the returned ballots are valid, although a final determination on that has yet to be made. Among the voters who returned paper ballots, registered Democrats outnumbers registered Republicans by more than 4-1. 

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Obviously, if the valid absentee votes track with registration, Fidler will end up with more than enough to overcome Storobin's lead. But as the machine voting showed, there is not necessarily any correlation between registration and actual outcome. (There are more than three times as many registered Democrats in the Senate district than Republicans.)

Both campaigns can be expected to mount aggressive efforts to invalidate ballots cast for the opposition. 

UPDATE: Apparently the machine count is a little closer.