You are reading

New Tensions Surface Over Ballot Validity in Queens DA Race as Katz Attorney Objects to Cabán Vote

Borough President Melinda Katz. (Melinda Katz)

July 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

As the manual recount in the Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary got underway yesterday, the first ballot objection quickly surfaced, causing yet another rift in the already contentious race.

As Board of Elections staffers began the process of tallying by hand more than 93,000 individual ballots, attorney for Melinda Katz, Frank Bolz, raised an objection to one of the ballots being counted, according to published reports.

The ballot—a vote for Tiffany Cabán—had a distinguishing pen mark on the top of the paper. New York State election law forbids any ballot from being counted that is “marked or signed by the voter in such a way that it can be identified from other ballots,” including “unusual markings not related to indication of the vote choice.” 

Following the objection from the Katz team, the vote was reportedly voided by BOE staff and placed in a folder for objected ballots, which will be officially ruled on at a later date.

The Katz campaign could not be reached for comment. 

Cabán attorney Jeffrey Goldfeder addressed the BOE’s objection process during a press conference on Monday morning, stating that he believes the board will render fair decisions throughout the recount process.

The recount operation, which kicked off on July 9 with a multi-day ballot sorting process, was automatically triggered by Katz’s narrow 16-vote lead over Cabán after affidavit and absentee ballots were counted on July 3. Until that point, Cabán had held a 1,199 vote lead over Katz.

Ballot validity has been an ongoing issue in the DA race, with Cabán, Katz and the BOE currently entangled in a lawsuit concerning the validity of 114 affidavit ballots. 

The 114 ballots in question, which have not yet been counted, each contain errors in the information filled out by the voter and were consequently voided by the BOE. The majority of these ballots—roughly 70—were discounted because the voter did not clearly state their party affiliation.

A final ruling on whether these ballots are valid will be issued by a judge after the end of the manual recount—which is expected no sooner than July 31—but only if the results are still close enough for the 114 uncounted ballots to have an impact.

email the author: [email protected]

7 Comments

Click for Comments 
Ms Woodyside

So when we going to find out who really won.
Hope its Katz . Caban is another AOC – we dont need another latina .

Reply
Stay Loose

If only there were an easier way to vote. If only the ballots were simple enough for a voter to complete without voiding their vote. This should be a simple, idiot-proof process. If we can order an ocean cruise on our phone, how hard could it be to enact a voting system that anyone can figure out?

10
3
Reply
Anon

The ballot is simple enough. If you can’t figure it out you probably shouldn’t vote. You’re obviously to dumb to understand the issues at hand.

5
9
Reply
11101

Wow. Katz’ desperation isn’t pretty. Trying to get a single vote tossed, because the pen likely wasn’t working.

32
10
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Lawyers on both sides are doing their thing: following stringent NYS election laws. Judge Ingram will likely rule on any contested ballots.

7
12
Reply
Gardens Watcher

On a lighter note, From QNS story today:
“One source told QNS that a ballot had been voided because the voter had written a paragraph off to the side of the ballot criticizing Cabán as a socialist, which both groups not only agreed was the proper step but served as one of the lighter moments in an otherwise contentious race.”

5
13
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.