At the end of the second day of counting absentee voting in last week’s State Senate special election in Brooklyn, Democratic candidate Lew Fidler has pulled ahead by 3 votes over Republican David Storobin with all of the uncontested ballots counted, a tipster told The Politicker.
There is a large caveat to this number though. Both campaigns have challenged a substantial number of votes, with most of Mr. Fidler’s objections coming yesterday and most of Mr. Storobin’s coming in an apparent surge of challenges today. Any vote objected to was simply set aside to be evaluated later, which could skew the apparent tally.
In particular, there’s one batch of 177 votes challenged by Mr. Fidler that could prove decisive. Mr. Fidler told The New York Times that all of these votes were gathered by one of Mr. Storobin’s campaign staffers, and the suspicious circumstances require greater scrutiny to ensure they were not fraudulently collected.
Meanwhile, Mr. Storobin’s camp argued these votes were targeted because they were all cast by voters with Russian names. They even held a rally this afternoon in front of Mr. Fidler’s District Office to protest the situation, waving signs with messages like, “Count my vote!” and “Shame on Lew.”
Needless to say, many more steps remain, including evaluating the contested ballots, reviewing the absentee ballots originally ruled invalid, and then possibly an automatic hand recount and taking legal disputes — like over those 177 contested votes — to the courts.