Hoffman doubles down, says election stolen

Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman on Wednesday accused ACORN and union interests of stealing the upstate New York special election that he conceded on Nov. 3.

Hoffman on Monday "unconceded" after recanvassing of votes across the district showed Democratic Rep. Bill Owens' margin of victory narrowing. Hoffman originally conceded after trailing Owens by 5,335 votes, but further counts showed him trailing by 3,176 votes. A recent count of absentee ballots in three counties showed Hoffman still trailing by 2,951.

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Until this point Hoffman has said a victory would be a "long shot." Now, Hoffman is accusing liberal groups of unjustly influencing the outcome of the election.

"As evidence surfaces, we find out that reported results from election night were far from accurate. ACORN and the unions did their best to try and sway the results to Obamacare supporter Bill Owens," Hoffman wrote in an internet message to supporters. "Recent developments leave me to wonder who is scheming behind closed doors, twisting arms and stealing elections from the voters of NY-23."

The message asks supporters for donations to "ensure every vote is counted."

In the letter, Hoffman touts a new lead in Jefferson County where Owens had won on Election Night. Hoffman, however, still trails in other counties. Hoffman would need to overcome a 3,176 deficit out of the 7,419 absentee ballots returned, a highly unlikely feat. In the letter, Hoffman says the outcome would be decided by the 10,200 absentee ballots distributed. Not all of them, however, were returned.

Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out of the race three days prior to Election Day, appeared on the absentee ballots. Reports in the Watertown Daily Times showed that voters selected Scozzafava more frequently on absentee ballots than they did on Election Day.

Owens was sworn in on Nov. 6, a day before the House voted on its version of healthcare reform legislation.