Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign filed a preemptive lawsuit on Wednesday after New York City’s Board of Elections mistakenly included test results in the vote count for the June 22 primary.
The city released the erroneous results, which included 135,000 mock ballots from a recent simulation, on Tuesday and is expected to release the correct results on Wednesday. About 124,000 absentee ballots, however, will not get counted until sometime next week. The Adams campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court.
''Today we petitioned the court to preserve our right to a fair election process and to have a judge oversee and review ballots, if necessary,'' the campaign said in a statement, according to Politico. ''We are notifying the other campaigns of our lawsuit through personal service, as required by law, because they are interested parties. We invite the other campaigns to join us and petition the court as we all seek a clear and trusted conclusion to this election.”
''It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS),” the board said in a statement.
''When the cast votes were extracted for the first pull of RCV [ranked choice voting] results, it included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” it added.
''The board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.”
Adams tweeted on Tuesday: ''Today’s mistake by the Board of Elections was unfortunate. It’s critical that New Yorkers are confident in their electoral system, especially as we rank votes in a citywide election for the first time.”
His fellow candidates also criticized the board over the error. Former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said in a press release that ''New Yorkers want free and fair elections, which is why we overwhelmingly voted to enact ranked choice voting. The BOE’s release of incorrect ranked choice votes is deeply troubling and requires a much more transparent and complete explanation.”
Lawyer and activist Maya Wiley said in a statement that ''this error by the Board of Elections is not just failure to count votes properly today, it is the result of generations of failures that have gone unaddressed. Today, we have once again seen the mismanagement that has resulted in a lack of confidence in results, not because there is a flaw in our election laws, but because those who implement it have failed too many times.”
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