Recount will resolve 'voter intent'
By Zach Campbell
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Board of Elections announced today its final tallies for the March 20 election to replace state Senator Carl Kruger, convicted last year in a $1-million bribery case. Republican attorney David Storobin now has a 27-vote lead over Democrat Lew Fidler, who currently represents parts of southeast Brooklyn in the City Council.
New York state election law requires that a manual recount of all ballots be held if neither candidate wins by a margin of half of 1 percent of the total votes cast, in this case 110 votes. Election officials will meet today to decide how now to proceed.
Fidler's campaign has claimed that “dozens” of ballots have still gone uncounted. Campaign manager Kalman Yeger alleged that some votes, either partially filled in or obscured by other marks, were unable to be read by scanners and registered as blank.
“A manual recount will determine voter intent,” said Valerie Vazquez, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections, adding that there is no indication of how many days or weeks a manual recount of the 22,000 votes cast could take. This is the first election close enough to qualify for a recount since new voting measures were put in place in 2010.
Vazquez said that the board's count gave Storobin 11,082 votes and Fidler 11,055 votes.
“Our position is that the Board of Elections should certify this election now that all the votes have finally been counted,” said Storobin's campaign manager, David Simpson.
It is unclear if the eventual winner of this state Senate race will ever make it to Albany. The legislative session ends in five weeks, and historically, governors have seldom called Senate meetings in the off-season.