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New Tensions Surface Over Ballot Validity in Queens DA Race as Katz Attorney Objects to Cabán Vote

Borough President Melinda Katz. (Melinda Katz)

July 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

As the manual recount in the Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary got underway yesterday, the first ballot objection quickly surfaced, causing yet another rift in the already contentious race.

As Board of Elections staffers began the process of tallying by hand more than 93,000 individual ballots, attorney for Melinda Katz, Frank Bolz, raised an objection to one of the ballots being counted, according to published reports.

The ballot—a vote for Tiffany Cabán—had a distinguishing pen mark on the top of the paper. New York State election law forbids any ballot from being counted that is “marked or signed by the voter in such a way that it can be identified from other ballots,” including “unusual markings not related to indication of the vote choice.” 

Following the objection from the Katz team, the vote was reportedly voided by BOE staff and placed in a folder for objected ballots, which will be officially ruled on at a later date.

The Katz campaign could not be reached for comment. 

Cabán attorney Jeffrey Goldfeder addressed the BOE’s objection process during a press conference on Monday morning, stating that he believes the board will render fair decisions throughout the recount process.

The recount operation, which kicked off on July 9 with a multi-day ballot sorting process, was automatically triggered by Katz’s narrow 16-vote lead over Cabán after affidavit and absentee ballots were counted on July 3. Until that point, Cabán had held a 1,199 vote lead over Katz.

Ballot validity has been an ongoing issue in the DA race, with Cabán, Katz and the BOE currently entangled in a lawsuit concerning the validity of 114 affidavit ballots. 

The 114 ballots in question, which have not yet been counted, each contain errors in the information filled out by the voter and were consequently voided by the BOE. The majority of these ballots—roughly 70—were discounted because the voter did not clearly state their party affiliation.

A final ruling on whether these ballots are valid will be issued by a judge after the end of the manual recount—which is expected no sooner than July 31—but only if the results are still close enough for the 114 uncounted ballots to have an impact.

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8 Comments

Anonymous

CABAN loses and the far left wants to pout and cry. AOC was a fluke and will be voted out next time around. I promise you that. All these knuckleheads that moves to nyc and voted will be shown how real ny’ers vote.

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Bush2000

I just wish we had a leader that was more savvy about rigging elections. How are we supposed to have confidence in some one that can only sneak in a 16 point lead?

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hadrian

If we did elections like every other modern nation (ranked voting), Katz would be the winner hands down. it should not be this close.

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F. Morris

Queens is not modern – archaic corrupt Queens machine has been rigging elections for decades— all those absentee ballots collected before the election ? The most corrupt attorneys from Long Island Sweeney Reich Bolz – “volunteering” to defend Katz against caban ? Those three have made tens of millions in Queens courts corruptly because their “boss” joe Crowley appointed all the judges , and Bolz kept all viable challengers off ballot to challenged Crowley because Bolz controlled BOE – elections in Queens have been rigged for years ! Meeks , Van Bramer , all Queens pols know the elections have been confirmed by Sweeney Reich Bolz for over 20 years – we have not had democracy in Queens ?

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Harry Bingham IV

The Queens Democrat machine has never rigged elections because they don’t need to. Tens of thousands of people in Queens County walk into election booths every election day and blindly vote Row A. People in the “World’s Borough” that cannot even read English are simply coached (ahem…Local 32BJ) to go into the voting booth and vote for the Democrat candidate which has historically been the machine candidate. Again, they don’t need to rig elections; people are stupid enough to support their nominees without any rigging.

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Gardens Watcher

Oh c’mon. We have, and have had democracy in Queens. But you added a new twist to your usual copy and paste rant this time by adding Meeks and VanBramer. Are you saying their elections were rigged?

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