NYC Dem mayor hopefuls prep for ‘unprecedented’ manual recount

The prime three Democratic mayoral contenders are demanding a manual recount of the June 22 primary election if the ultimate vote depend has slender sufficient margins — a course of that may a primary for town in trendy historical past.

“It is without precedent in a New York City mayoral race or any citywide office,” mentioned election lawyer Stanley Schlein, who represents former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in her lawsuit in opposition to the Board of Elections.

Garcia, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and lawyer Maya Wiley have all filed related petitions in courtroom to protect their rights to problem the election outcomes.

A ultimate vote depend is predicted on July 12. Adams currently leads Garcia by 14,755 votes with Wiley simply 347 votes behind the previous Sanitation Commissioner.

The BOE has but to tabulate some 125,000 absentee ballots and run all of the votes via town’s new ranked-choice system.

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams at the moment leads the race by 14,755 votes as town Board of Elections struggles to tally votes.
James Messerschmidt

Under state regulation a manual recount is triggered if the distinction between candidate figures is beneath .5 p.c of the overall votes solid or about 4,500 votes with 935,000 ballots solid within the major.

“We’re talking about possibly an even smaller margin than half of one percent,” mentioned legal professional Daniel Bright, who represents Wiley.

“That could change who becomes mayor,” he mentioned.

In the occasion of a hand re-canvass, BOE officers would pour over particular person ballots the place voters made irregular markings like circling a candidate’s identify as an alternative of filling within the bubble. A decide would oversee the laborious course of.

Veteran election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder, who shouldn’t be concerned in any of the campaigns, mentioned it’s uncertain the ultimate vote will embrace the margin of distinction of beneath 4,500 votes between candidates.

“The odds of that happening are very low,” Goldfeder mentioned.

Mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia
Mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia is hoping a manual recount will assist her inch nearer to beating rival Eric Adams.
Matthew McDermott

Goldfeder guessed it will take “weeks and weeks” to do a manual recount. Schlein and Bright agreed it will take weeks, not months.

Ciampoli estimated the recount would value taxpayers “millions of dollars.”

But John Ciampoli, one other longtime election lawyer not related to the Democratic contenders, mentioned the timeline may run via the tip of September — near the early November basic election.

He added that the method could be sophisticated by town’s first ever ranked-choice vote, the place New Yorkers listed their prime 5 decisions for mayor and different metropolis workplaces.

“Half a percent is in the law now, but how do you make a determination of what’s one half a percent when you have ranked-choice voting? Talk about a square peg being put into a round hole,” Ciampoli mentioned.

“It wasn’t written anticipating ranked-choice voting. Is it a half a percent between any two candidates? Is it a half a percent after the first round of counting, or the second counting? Between the first and second candidates?” he mused.

Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley
Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley is 347 votes behind Kathryn Garcia.
Gabriella Bass

A spokeswoman for the BOE didn’t instantly return a message about the potential for a hand recount.

While there hasn’t been a manual recount in an area mayoral race in current occasions, there was a hand re-canvass in a 1917 Republican major.

There was additionally hand recount within the 2019 Queens district legal professional race that took about three weeks for 100,00 votes.

Additional reporting by Carl Campanile and Bernadette Hogan

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