The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Republican Ann Marie Buerkle's lead has grown to 567 votes over Democratic congressman Dan Maffei, and it's hard to see how Maffei could pull this off:

Lawyers for Maffei and Buerkle are due to appear Tuesday before State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph in Syracuse to resolve challenges by the two campaigns to about 240 ballots.

Maffei has the option of requesting a manual recount of all ballots. He has not said whether he will make that request.

So there aren't enough challenged ballots to give Maffei the lead, and National Journal reports the ballots would likely help Buerkle if they're counted: An "elections official noted that Maffei's campaign was the one that objected to most of those disputed ballots, meaning that any count would likely only boost Buerkle's lead."

Buerkle will add to the cast of interesting characters in the 112th Congress should she win: She served as the state's assistant attorney general after working as a nurse and a spokeswoman for the right-to-life organization Operation Rescue. While Buerkle stressed that she didn't want the election to be a referendum on abortion, her likely victory in this Syracuse-based district is a heartening sign for pro-lifers in upstate New York.

(Hat tip: Robert Stacy McCain.)

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