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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.

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22 Comments

Gardens Watcher

Looks like the GOP is using their fake-online-posts strategy again. Pit Dems against each other.

What’s the problem? Oh right, the GOP DA candidate already said he wouldn’t run an active campaign this Fall.

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Owen

This is so disheartening. This definitely seems like a Democratic Machine setup. People need stand up and speak up!

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Gardens Watcher

The primary voters have already spoken. Some posts are sounding a bit sketchy — like they’re machine-made.

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Jael

We need to hear from the big voices. That’s AoC and Deblasio. Bernie and progressives… hell even the fakers need to be asked bout this.

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Jack

Of course the Queens machine is rigging this so Katz wins – BOE employees, all hired with blessings of Crowley’s attorney Bolz – organized all the affadavit and absentee ballots – on Election Day and before – they need Katz to win to continue all their corruption in surrogates court.

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Bashir

Establishment shells trying to steal the election. We will not let them steal it!

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Gardens Watcher

So you know the BOE is bi-partisan, right? And both Democrats and Republicans are doing the recount. You don’t know Jack?

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Gardens Watcher

I read online reports, and there were challenges from both camps on day 2 of the counting, but they were “cordial.”

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LIC Direct

The cheating has begun. Let’s support any republican candidate in a general election if Katz is declared the winner. Where’s Jimmy Van Bramer who threw his support behind Caban and nowhere to seen or heard? Did the Power Brokers (Bolz, Sweeney & Co) tell him to shut up little man or we’ll squash you like a cockaroach?

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Mac

LIC Direct-And let us not forget to support other Republican policies like Right to work for less legislation, end reproductive rights, tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% and corporations and cuts to public transportation. We’ll teach those Dems a lesson.

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Anonymous

It the DA race calm down with your usual talking points. The DA isn’t cutting anybody’s taxes. Try to breath comrade.

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Roberto

Found out the democrats are taking information from homeless people and creating voter ID for those that will be tasked with voting often on an election day.

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Gardens Watcher

What a serious accusation 🙂 If true, you should report it to the police and the Board of Elections. And then report back to the GOP for further instructions.

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Anonymous

Love watching the Democratic Party crooks call each other crooks. Vote Republican!

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JohnnyD.

The real crooks are attorneys Bolz Reich and Sweeney – Crowley’s lawyers -who have been controlling Queens Democratic Party for decades , making millions off their corruption in Queens courts with Crowley’s blessings- so blatantly illegal . They are worse than trump !

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Mac

Anonymous- The wife of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (Republican) pleaded guilty Thursday to a single corruption count and agreed to testify against her husband at his trial on charges the couple spent more than $200,000 in campaign funds on trips, dinners, clothes and other personal expenses.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

“What about that republican over there” ?? Lol. A Californian who has nothing to do with this gets dragged into the conversation. Carbie Barbie, you a one note song.

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LIC Direct

I’m with Jack – Tif Caban is an outsider as DA would probably look into the corruption in Surrogates Court by Sweeney, Bolz and Company. Where’s little man Jimmy Van Bramer? Not a peep. Hope everyone is watching how democracy works in Queens County.

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