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Recount in Tightly Contested Queens DA Race Set to Begin

Counting additional ballots reversed initial results which showed Caban with a 1,000-vote lead — now Katz holds a 16-vote advantage

What to Know

  • A recount in the nationally watched Democratic primary for Queens district attorney is getting started Tuesday
  • Counting additional ballots reversed initial results which showed Caban with a 1,000-vote lead — now Katz holds a 16-vote advantage
  • Caban's campaign and the BOE will also be in court on Tuesday over whether some ballots that were ruled ineligible should be counted

A recount in the nationally watched Democratic primary for Queens district attorney is getting started this week.

The New York City Board of Elections says the process of manually tallying the ballots begins on Tuesday.

Initial unofficial results on primary night last month had public defender Tiffany Caban with a lead of over 1,000 votes over Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

But counting additional ballots reversed that result, with Katz currently holding a 16-vote advantage, and necessitated the recount.

Caban's campaign and the BOE will also be in court on Tuesday over whether some ballots that were ruled ineligible should be counted. The 9:30 a.m. court hearing (which the Caban campaign says is likely to be adjourned) will be over the Caban team's challenge of 114 disqualified — or unopened — ballots on which voters mistakenly left blank their party affiliation. The court will decide if those votes should count.

Ballots will be taken out of all 700 machines that were used in the primary, in which 92,000 votes were cast. The votes will be counted by hand.

A Board of Elections source says a small number of votes typically (and mistakenly) fail to get counted by the machine. In a race as close as this, those could stand to be massively important. 

The race is being watched as a stand-in for the national tug-of-war between establishment and progressive Democratic factions.

The winner is favored to win the November general election.

The winner will be favored to win the November general election to succeed longtime District Attorney Richard Brown. He died in May at age 86.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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