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Democratic candidates who are still in the running in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary are now demanding a manual recount and ballot audit of the June 22 election.
“It is without precedent in a New York City mayoral race or any citywide office,” said election lawyer Stanley Schlein, who represents Kathryn Garcia in her lawsuit against the NYC Board of Elections.
“Garcia, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and lawyer Maya Wiley have all filed similar petitions in court to protect their rights to challenge the election results,” the New York Post reported. “A final vote count is expected on July 12. Adams currently leads Garcia by 14,755 votes with Wiley just 347 votes behind the former Sanitation Commissioner.”
The Post added:
The BOE has yet to tabulate some 125,000 absentee ballots and run all the votes through the city’s new ranked-choice system.
Under state law a manual recount is triggered if the difference between candidate figures is under .5 percent of the total votes cast or about 4,500 votes with 935,000 ballots cast in the primary.
In the event of a hand re-canvass, BOE officials would pour over individual ballots where voters made irregular markings like circling a candidate’s name instead of filling in the bubble. A judge would oversee the laborious process.
Veteran election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder, who is not involved in any of the campaigns, said it’s doubtful the final vote will include the margin of difference of under 4,500 votes between candidates.
New York City’s Democrat mayoral primary continues to get worse by the day.
Last week, an explosive new report from the New York Post alleges that New York City election officials held a secret meeting to discuss the botched vote count in the Democrat mayoral primary.
The Post reported:
Red-faced city election officials held an apparently illegal, secret meeting Wednesday to discuss the botched vote count that threw the Democratic mayoral primary into chaos, The Post has learned.
Board of Elections President Fred Umane said the board was briefed by staffers about the colossal screw-up that led to 135,000 fake ballots from a test run of the BOE’s computer system mistakenly being included in preliminary results released Tuesday afternoon.
Umane, a Manhattan Republican, said that the test ballots came from one borough but that “the error was made in the general office.”
“We’re still trying to do the investigation. The problem has been rectified,” he said.
Donald Trump compared the city Board of Election’s error-plagued vote count with his own 2020 election defeat.
“Just like in the 2020 Presidential Election, it was announced overnight in New York City that vast irregularities and mistakes were made,” Trump wrote in an email message. “The fact is, based on what has happened, nobody will ever know who really won.”
Trump on the election mess in New York City: pic.twitter.com/rwe8MFRKhb
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 30, 2021
Beyond that, everything is in chaos.
Things heated up dramatically last Tuesday night when the New York City Board of Elections admitted that over 135,000 votes were erroneously tabulated in the race.
Officials initially retracted their vote results after discovering the results had been corrupted by test deck data that were never cleared from the voting system.
“The Board of Elections conducts rigorous and mandatory pre-qualification testing for every election,” the BOE said. “It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS).”
“EMS produces Cast Vote Records (CVR) from ballot images,” the statement continued. “RCV software uses the CVR to produce unofficial results.”
“When the cast vote records were extracted for the first pull of RCV results, it included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the statement added.
“Board staff has removed all test ballot images from the system and will upload election night results, cross-referencing against election night reporting software for verification. The cast vote record will be re-generated and the RCV rounds will be re-tabulated,” the BOE went on.
“The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up-to-date results are reported.”
— NYC Board of Elections (@BOENYC) June 30, 2021
Democratic mayoral candidate frontrunner Eric Adams filed a lawsuit seeking to have a judge oversee the botched vote count in the convoluted race.
The suit was filed after the city Board of Elections released a botched simulation of how ranked-choice voting would play out after the initial count of early and election day in-person votes.
The board claims they “accidentally” added some 135,000 dummy ballots to the count, rendering the simulation useless and possibly misleading.
Late on Wednesday night, the city’s Board of Elections released updated vote totals showing Adams in the lead with 51.1 percent, followed by Kathryn Garcia with 48.9 percent.