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More Than 6,300 Ballots Left to be Counted in Contentious Queens DA Race

Melinda Katz casting her vote in Tuesday’s election. (Melinda Katz)

June 27, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

With several thousand absentee and paper ballots left to be counted in Queens District Attorney Democratic primary, Borough President Melinda Katz has not yet conceded to insurgent candidate Tiffany Cabán.

Cabán, who earned a slight lead over Katz of 1,090 votes with 98 percent of precincts reporting, declared victory over the career politician on Tuesday evening shortly after 11 p.m.

Katz appears to be holding out hope that the uncounted affidavit, absentee and military ballots will swing the election in her favor.

“You have to count every vote,” Katz said on election night.

Early reports suggested that there were roughly 3,400 uncounted votes, however a new report from The City states that the Board of Elections (BOE) has claimed the number is closer to 6,300 and is expected to grow in the coming days as more absentee ballots come through the mail.

The Board of Elections did not respond to requests for comment.

While Katz is remaining optimistic, it is likely that the posted ballots will not change the results of election night. The votes are expected to be split amongst the seven names on the ticket, including Council Member Rory Lancman who dropped out of the race just days before the election—after some absentee ballots would have already been mailed.

The BOE began the process of recounting machine votes earlier today, CBS reported, to ensure the accuracy of Tuesday night’s results. The absentee and paper ballots will be counted over the coming days and may not be completed until Wednesday, July 3.

Cabán, a 31-year old public defender, is reportedly in talks to hire prominent election lawyer Jerry Goldfelder to handle the ballot count, according to The City.

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