With Democrat Lew Fidler taking a three-vote lead yesterday (or possibly no lead at all) after the uncontested absentee and provisional ballots were counted in the special election to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, things appear very tight indeed.
Both campaigns sent out statements, which you can view below, and both are expressing confidence while accusing the other of ethnic discrimination in their ballot challenges.
Notably, according to Republican candidate David Storobin’s campaign, they contested 193 ballots and Mr. Fidler’s team challenged 185. These 378 ballots were all initially considered valid, so absent legal action to prove fraud, the majority of them could easily be added back into the respective candidate’s totals.
The next step in the process for the campaigns is to contest ballots that were initially considered invalid by the Board of Elections. If neither candidate has a lead of about 110 votes when this is over, which seems reasonably likely, it’s on to an automatic hand recount and legal action.
View the two statements below.
Mr. Fidler campaign’s manager Kalman Yeger:
“This is exactly as we predicted on Election Night: Lew Fidler received more votes than his opponent.
During the course of the day, the Storobin legal team, obviously realizing that more voters had chosen Lew Fidler, began registering challenges to voters who were registered Democrats, senior citizens, and had Jewish surnames. Over three-quarters of Mr. Storobin’s challenges were directed against women.
Even allowing for the extraordinary number of Storobin challenges made with no legal basis, Lew Fidler is ahead in the count, and we are confident when the court concludes its review of the contested ballots, Lew Fidler will have more votes and win this election.”
And, on the other side, from Mr. Storobin himself:
“This is obviously a very close election, and it is by no means over. At the completion of the recanvass, if Mr. Fidler’s narrow lead holds, we will move forward with a court action. I believe that every valid vote must be counted in order to declare a true winner and reassure the people of 27th District that the democratic process has been carried out correctly.
Unfortunately, my opponent’s campaign has unfairly blocked well more than 100 Russian absentee votes from being counted, for no reason other than the fact that they are Russian. This blatant disenfranchisement cannot and will not stand.
We had a solid lead until my opponent unfairly blocked ethnic votes, and I believe that once every valid vote has been counted we will win this election. I have faith that the legal process will work as it should to ensure that the votes that should be counted will be counted, and that in the end I will be the next State Senator from Brooklyn.”