ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The race for Congress in Central New York's new 24th district is expected to be close. A final independent poll last weekend showed the two major party candidates in a tie.
The Republican incumbent was asked as she voted whether she expected a clear decision in the race tonight.
"Oh, I hope so. I think everybody hopes we know tonight. But, you know, if it comes down to absentees, we're good. We had a great absentee ballot program and we have the advantage of enrollment with the number of absentees. So, we're optimistic," said Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle.
Ann Marie Buerkle won her race in 2010 by fewer than 700 votes.
Democrat Dan Maffei, who lost to Buerkle two years ago, is no stranger to tight contests for Congress. As he voted today, Maffei was already saying there may be no clear cut winner tonight.
"You know, I've run in several close races and we have not had decisions on Election Night. At least, not ‘for sure’ decisions. There is a lot of absentee ballots out there and it's going to be important that we count every ballot. And so I would be a little surprised if we knew tonight," said Maffei.
There are more than 20,000 absentee ballots that have been mailed out in the district.
The candidate who may have the most impact on making this a close race is Green Party contender Ursula Rozum. This is the 28-year-old's first try at elective office.
"It's very exciting. It's the first time I've ever voted for myself, and now we've got a pretty full day of just being out in the streets talking to voters. That kind of thing," said Rozum.
This past weekend's poll showed Rozum drawing support from eight percent of the district's voters.