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Queens DA Primary Battle Heats Up in Court

Melinda Katz and Tiffany Caban

July 31, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary race went to court today with Tiffany Cabán’s campaign seeking to revalidate votes deemed invalid for counting by the Board of Elections and Melinda Katz’s campaign fighting back.

On Monday, the BOE certified the recount, naming Borough President Katz victorious over Cabán with a 60-vote lead. While Katz held an “appreciation” party that night, the certification allowed Cabán’s team to return to court to contest the invalidated ballots.

Cabán’s attorney Jerry Goldfeder said the Board invalidated a total of 30 votes for Cabán and 16 for Katz during the manual recount — 21 of those cast for Cabán were wrongly invalidated he argued in court. In addition, Goldfeder asked the court to restore a number of affidavit ballots which he said were cast by eligible and registered voters.

“The Board of Elections and the Katz campaign are standing together to oppose our efforts to open and count ballots cast by eligible and registered voters,” Goldfeder charged. “Both the interests of democracy and legal precedent demand that these invalidated affidavit ballots and Caban votes be counted.”

He went on to argue that if “all valid ballots cast by eligible and registered voters” are counted, Cabán would take back the lead from Katz and win the election.

Meanwhile, the Katz camp said Cabán and her team’s efforts were in vain. “Their efforts are akin to throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something sticks,” said Campaign advisor Matthew Rey.

“The Cabán camp is doing everything they can to turn the electoral process upside down to change the results of the primary,” Rey said.

The ballots the Cabán campaign is contesting include at least 68 affidavit ballots invalidated due to missing party affiliation, 22 affidavit ballots invalidated due to wrong polling sites, and 12 ballots cast by registered voters in which the BOE determined that the voter in question was not registered and invalidated, according to Goldfeder.

Goldfeder said 21 invalidated Cabán votes should be counted, while 21 Katz votes should be invalidated. The argument of whether any of each contender’s votes should or shouldn’t be counted lays in whether they have “intentional, distinguishing marks” that would invalidate them.

In response Rey said, “After shouting from the rooftops for months that every vote should count, they are now moving to disqualify 22 votes cast for Melinda Katz.”

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. At its completion, Katz led Cabán by 34,920 votes to Cabán’s 34,860.

“This continuing effort to change the election results is trying the patience of the people of this borough,” Rey said. “It is time for all parties to unify behind the work of Melinda Katz to reform the criminal justice system in Queens.”

Certified Democratic primary results for Queens District Attorney (Source: Board of Elections. July)

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4 Comments

Gardens Watcher

Judge Ingram not buying into the blaming the poll workers strategy.
From The Daily News 8/6:

“Cabán’s lawyer Jerry Goldfeder argued that poll workers have some responsibility in making sure voters complete their envelopes.

“I’m going to rule that the poll workers have no affirmative duty to check, verify and make corrections — or suggest corrections — to the voter,” the judge said. “The voter has some responsibility here to comply with instructions.”

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Forest Hills for Caban

copying this from Astoria post.

This election being rigged for unqualified Katz.

My friend sent this from Astoria.

This how they trying to steal election!

Caban take notice!

Election was rigged for Katz by Queens BOE.
indisputable facts

1- Joe Crowley’s attorneys, Long Islanders- Bolz, Reich and Sweeney have run the Queens BOE for decades and in charge of giving blessing, or hiring, every employee at Queens BOE.

2- Sweeney Reich Bolz, Crowley and many attorneys in his family have all become multi-millionaires due their control of Queens elected officials and corruption in surrogates court.

3- Joe Crowley , now a lobbyist (the most disgusting profession in the world) , needs Katz to win, because as a lobbyist he needs “influence” in NY and Queens to increase his “value”. His brother Sean Crowley, and brother-in-law Ramon Martinez also lobbyists! plus cousins need Katz in courts, so a family of crooks- and they all need to retain connections and “influence” , hence Katz will continue to be their puppet.

4- Katz , who is running to be DA, the chief prosecutor of Queens has ZERO court experience and never prosecuted a case in her life! Crowley/Bolz?Reich/Sweeney chose her, and they plan to put a Crowley in as Borough President if Katz wins, and they also need to keep their control of surrogates court to keep raking in the corrupt dollars.

5. Everyone in Queens politics (Meng, VanBramer, Meeks, Nolan etc) aware of this corruption and suppression of democracy for over 20 years, basically Crowley, Bolz, Reich and Sweeny HAVE CHOSEN EVERY SINGLED ELECTED OFFICIAL in QueensCrowley , who was initially “appointed” to Congress, kept his seat for 20 yrs cuz Bolz, Reich, and Sweeney blocked (illegally) everyone else from getting on ballot.

6. AOC slipped past Bolz, and got on ballot, they arrogantly did not worry about a 28 yr old Latina bartender socialist.

7. Crowley never “served” constituents, he moved to Virginia, arrogantly thinking he should represent Queens and the Bronx from Virginia, served himself, he is not very bright lacks charisma, inarticulate and basically sat in D.C. acting like a lap dog for Hilary Clinton and then Nancy Pelosi. Little talent, but he did whatever Clinton and Pelosi told him to, so he could climb the ladder. Pelosi will soon be embarrassed by the fact that he was never even legitimately elected to Congress, and she was “grooming” a corrupt phony.

8)Bottom line – BOE has a history of corruption, “creating” ballots, donors, rigging elections, blocking viable opponents – guarantee that if they investigated all the absentee ballots, affidavits and check with the actual “voters” – fraud will be discovered.

Crowley, Sweeney, Reich, Bolz and Katz will be found out. Rigging this elections sealed their fates. Someone suggested a Pulitizer for the journalist who uncovers it the fact that Queens has not had a democratically elected official in decades- thanks to Virginia Joe Crowley and his three attorneys from Long Island.

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Gardens Watcher

Next week Judge Ingram is going to review just 28 of the 68 contested affidavit ballot envelopes where the voter did not indicate party affiliation. Unclear if, or when, he would review the other 40 of the 68.

The affidavit oath on the ballot envelope asks for pertinent information to identify the voter. Indicating your party affiliation is particularly critical in a primary, which in this contest was only open to properly, timely registered Democrats.

If certain lines are deemed to be “optional,” then the form should state that. It doesn’t. And Party affiliation isn’t just “hyper-technical” information.

The BOE was following the election laws that apply to these affidavit ballots. I trust the Judge will follow the rule of law.

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