There are now less than 1,000 votes to count in the hotly contested 46th Senate District and Republican George Amedore’s overall lead against Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk is down to 322.

And Democrats fully expect the outcome of the race — and possibly who is in control of the state Senate — to be fought in a courtroom because of the growing number of objections filed to absentee and paper ballots.

District wide, Republicans so far have challenged about 500 votes, while Democrats have challenged 158.

The paper ballot count has been a see-saw, though the balance now appears to be tipping in favor Tkaczyk, though a winner will certainly not be declared tonight.

Democrats believe that have more than a fighting chance when this goes to the courts, given the challenged ballot differential is so high.

Still, it’s not a guarantee a judge will approve all those ballots for the Tkaczyk.

Republican Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous told Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show this morning that many of those challenged ballots are from New York City residents with second homes in Ulster County, a heavily Democratic area that Tkaczyk’s campaign had concentrated on in the lead up to Election Day.

Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris countered, saying the GOP is trying to purposely slow down the process by challenging so many ballots.

The newly drawn 46th Senate District stretches from the Mohawk Valley to the Hudson Valley and includes Montgomery, Schenectady, Albany, Greene and Ulster counties.