Rangel Primary Win in Doubt as Vote Confusion Reigns

Saturday, 30 Jun 2012 04:56 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Four days after a primary between veteran New York Democratic congressman Charles Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat there is still no clear winner.

The race for the Empire State’s 13th District is in a state of bizarre uncertainty, Politico reported, with questionable ballots, missing precincts, finger-pointing and no clear response as to when it will all be settled.

Six percent of all votes cast, in 32 precincts are still unaccounted for and 2,447 affidavit ballots and 667 absentee votes haven’t been counted yet. The city Board of Elections said Rangel’s lead over Espaillat stood at 1,032 votes. A hearing is scheduled for Monday on a lawsuit brought by the Espaillat campaign asking it to examine the vote-counting process.

Rangel, who was up against the most serious reelection threat of his 42-year House career, declared victory Tuesday night and he and supporters partied at a Harlem restaurant. Initial vote counts showed Rangel with a 20-point lead and Espaillat conceded.

The next day, Politico reported, Espaillat released a new statement that suggested the race wasn’t yet settled. “Our message of bringing bold, new ideas to change Congress connected with voters, as demonstrated by our strong show of support and the voting results that continue to come in,” he said.

New York City Board of Elections had promised a final tally on Friday but that didn’t happen. Now the race might remain in limbo for days, if not weeks. Election workers were scrambling on Friday in offices across New York City to reassess votes that had been cast three days earlier.


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