July 29, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The Board of Elections unanimously certified the election results in the contested Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary race today, naming Borough President Melinda Katz victorious over public defender Tiffany Cabán.
Despite the board’s certification, the race is far from over, as Cabán’s campaign continues to contest more than 100 affidavit ballots in court that it says were erroneously invalidated by the BOE. The next court hearing is set for July 31.
In a statement, a Cabán campaign spokesperson said they viewed the outcome of the election “undetermined” until the court renders its decision.
“Today’s certification by the BOE is a formality that will allow our campaign to move forward with its efforts to restore wrongly invalidated ballots in court,” said campaign spokesperson Monica Klein.
“Our campaign is fighting to protect Queens voters from being disenfranchised and allow their voices to be heard. Eligible voters’ ballots must not be disqualified due to the BOE’s failure to provide them with adequate assistance and guidance at polling sites. Until then, the outcome of this election remains undetermined.”
Katz beat Cabán by about 60 votes following the manual recount, according to published reports.
The contested affidavit ballots, 114 in total, were tossed out by the BOE since they contained voter errors or were cast at the wrong polling site. The majority of these ballots—roughly 70—were not counted because the voter did not clearly state their party affiliation.
The court ordered that the BOE had to certify the current results before Cabán’s campaign could legally contest the uncounted votes.
“More than a 100 ballots cast by eligible and registered Democratic voters continue to hang in the balance, and will determine the final outcome of this election,” said the campaign’s attorney Jerry Goldfeder.
The primary was held on June 25 with Cabán originally leading Katz by more than 1,199 votes, until affidavit and absentee ballots were counted, putting Katz ahead by a mere 16 votes. The small margin called for a manual recount in which more than 90,000 ballots were sorted and recounted.
Katz welcomed the board’s announcement and said she was holding a party for her supporters tonight at a Forest Hills bar/restaurant called Banter tonight to celebrate.
“This is a great day for the people of Queens, who have waited patiently for the long recount process to conclude. Today, the Board of Elections certified that we have won the campaign for the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney. I am grateful to the Board, and particularly to the dozens of BOE employees who undertook the painstaking work of evaluating each of the over 90,000 votes cast in the primary.”