Court to Intervene in Rangel-Espaillat Race

By Jill Colvin and Jeff Mays  on June 29, 2012 7:38pm

State Sen.Adriano Espaillat has accused Rangel of funneling resources into certain parts of the district at the expense of others.
State Sen.Adriano Espaillat has accused Rangel of funneling resources into certain parts of the district at the expense of others.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

UPPER MANHATTAN — The New York State Supreme Court has agreed to intervene after the apparent disappearance of dozens of election districts’ votes that some believe could swing the outcome in the race between Rep. Charlie Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

While Rangel had been declared the winner of the primary late Tuesday night, the Board of Elections' results have now come into question, after it was revealed that dozens of election districts hadn’t been include in their count.

The Espaillat campaign now says that votes from more than 70 of the district's 506 precincts have yet to be counted — even though just over 1,000 votes separated the candidates in the most recent public count.

The State Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the missing ballots and the election results Monday afternoon, representatives of the Espaillat and Rangel campaigns confirmed Friday.

“Three days after a winner was declared in this election, there are still votes to be counted,” the Espaillat campaign said in a statement, charging that many of the districts that have yet to be counted are concentrated in Espaillat strongholds, including Washington Heights and The Bronx.

The campaign also charged that its staffers had been denied access to observe the count by Board of Elections staff.

“Our campaign has not been allowed to adequately monitor the Board of Elections’ proceedings, as required by law," the campaign said, accusing the BOE of continuing "to stonewall not only our campaign, but also the news media, which is particularly disturbing given that it blocks the free flow of information and transparency."

Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez has not responded to requests from DNAinfo.com New York and other media outlets for information about how many votes have yet to be counted and where the current vote count stands.

In addition to the missing precincts, the campaign also said the board has collected 3,000 affidavit ballots, which are submitted by voters who show up at the polls but whose names are missing from voter rolls.

Congressman Charles Rangel arrives at PS 175 in Harlem to vote in the primary elections on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Congressman Charles Rangel arrives at PS 175 in Harlem to vote in the primary elections on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

According to sources familiar with the counting, about one-third of those ballots have been deemed legitimate, and will begin being counted on July 5.

According to city rules, a manual recount is required if the margin in a race ends up being less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the total votes cast.

The Rangel camp said they expect to have a representative at the hearing Monday.

Campaign spokeswoman Ronnie Sykes said she expects Rangel remain victorious once the final vote tally is in.

"We are waiting for the results from the Board of Elections," Sykes said.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement