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Katz and Cabán Headed to Court Over Validity of 114 Paper Ballots, Recount to Start Next Week

Queens District Attorney candidates Melinda Katz and Tiffany Cabán. (Melinda Katz/Tiffany Caban)

July 5, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

Tiffany Cabán and Melinda Katz are set to face off yet again, this time in Queens County Supreme Court.

The pair will head to court on Tuesday to determine the validity of 114 disputed ballots that were not counted since voters didn’t clearly state their party affiliation.

The ruling could change the result, since Katz had a lead of just 16 votes on Friday.

The court battle is just another phase in an election saga that has seen Cabán’s 1,100-vote election-night lead evaporate. The election swung in Katz’ favor on Wednesday after a manual count of affidavit and absentee ballots was conducted by the NYC Board of Elections. By Wednesday night, Katz was 20 votes ahead in a stunning reversal.

This morning the BOE began re-reviewing several affidavit ballots at the request of Cabán‘s team.

The BOE ruled that six of these ballots could be counted. Five votes went to Cabán and one went to Katz, bringing the Borough President’s lead down to just 16 votes.

The court will review the 114 disputed ballots next week. Cabán’s team believes that these votes should be counted as long as all other requirements are met.

On Tuesday, the BOE will also begin its manual recount of the 85,000 votes that were cast on election day. BOE workers will go through every ballot that was cast at more than 700 voting machines.

The recount was automatically triggered since Katz’ lead is less than 0.5 percent of the vote.

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Gardens Watcher

According to City&State, the Judge reportedly will not rule on the validity of the contested affidavit ballots (also known as the “provisional” ballots) until the manual recount of the machine ballots is completed. Plus there’s likely hundreds of machine ballots that were rejected by the machine, especially if a voter didn’t fill in the bubble properly. This is going to take some time.

One thing is for sure: the vote tally will change again. Sit tight.

Harry Bingham IV

Gardens Watcher: Nice to see there is at least one citizen in Queens County paying attention. Queens County Supreme Court has not had a Republican judge since Tommy Polizzi left back in 2007 or so I believe. Interesting that Judge Ingram is a Republican that was transferred to Queens County recently due to some internal politics. Interesting that Weinstein assigned the case to Ingram instead of taking it himself. I am surprised his ego allowed that. Years ago, it was standard practice to refer election law matters to judges from the opposite party to maintain a sense of fairness. Nevertheless, I gather you’re a Democrat and perhaps even a liberal with sanity, but it is truly delicious for an old elephant like me to see Reich and Bolz appear before a Republican judge. Cheers.

Gardens Watcher

I’m a citizen and live in Queens County, yes. Prefer not to label myself beyond that.

I still believe in fairness and the rule of law, and think Judge Ingram made a wise decision. Isn’t Weinstein retiring this summer?

Harry Bingham IV

Ahem… Just wondering, would that be the same Court where every single sitting Judge owes their position to the Queens Democrat machine? Just wondering.

Gardens Watcher

Maybe Judge Judy? After all, she did go to the same law school as Cabán— New York Law School, not to be confused with NYU.

Good to hear from you again, Harry.


Yes, it is. Sadly, it’s the same thing with the local Appellate Courts – largely stacked by NYC machine politics.


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