Earlier today, New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez published a fairly damning report on the Board of Elections and their interaction with Congressman Charlie Rangel’s reelection campaign, notably that Timothy Gay, the deputy chief clerk for Manhattan’s Board of Elections — AKA “the person currently supervising the count of the votes in the Manhattan part of the 13th Congressional District” — held a meeting in Harlem with “key Rangel campaign operatives, and with district leaders supporting Rangel” right before Election Day. Additionally, Mr. Gonzalez reported, “[U]ntil now, no one has mentioned more than 2,000 additional paper votes the board’s staff tossed out this week as invalid.”
And Mr. Rangel’s opponent, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is currently down by about 900 votes with absentee ballots from his electoral base yet to be counted, isn’t thrilled at the news. His campaign spokesman emailed the story to the media, referring to it as “new findings of impropriety at the Board of Elections,” and politicos supporting Mr. Espaillat have been repeatedly tweeting their frustration.
As the first day of counting absentee votes in last week’s special election to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger came to a close this evening, Republican candidate David Storobin led Democratic Lew Fidler by just 37 votes, a source familiar with the situation told The Politicker.
Only 296 votes have been counted, about half of the 757 valid absentee votes when one takes into account that some valid votes were contested and placed aside for the moment. Additionally, hundreds more ballots initially ruled to be invalid are out there for both campaigns to contest, some of which are likely to be brought back into play.
With 163 of the 757 absentee ballots counted, Mr. Storobin’s 119 vote lead from last week has dropped to 62, although, of course, the count is subject to significant fluctuations as pockets of support from both candidates are tallied.