Dem leads Republican by 16 votes three weeks after election

Three weeks after election day Rep. Tim Bishop (D) and challenger Randy Altschuler (R) continue to swing in and out of the lead in the race for New York's 1st congressional district. 

The continuing count of absentee ballots has left the challenger ahead for a time, but only long enough for Altschuler to see his lead vanish by a handful of votes to the incumbent Bishop. 

After Altschuler took the lead by some 15 votes as of mid-morning Monday, the total swung back in favor of Bishop by early afternoon. Altschuler's campaign said, by its count, Bishop leads by just 16 votes. 

The two are also battling over challenged absentee ballots, a fight which could end up in court before the end of the week. 

Meanwhile, the race between upstate Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and Republican Ann Marie Buerkle may be headed for a hand recount if Maffei wins his day in court Tuesday. 

With all absentee ballots in the district counted, Buerkle is the apparent winner over Maffei, holding a lead of 567 votes. Maffei has challenged less than 300 ballots, which are set to be reviewed Tuesday, and a judge could still grant the incumbent a full hand recount. 

Buerkle's campaign released a statement Sunday that said it would wait for the legal process to play out before claiming victory over Maffei, but said the campaign remains confident she will ultimately come out the winner.