The drama of a contentious Brooklyn special election for a State Senate seat moved into an unmarked warehouse on Wednesday, and as officials began reviewing votes, uncertainty increased alongside absurdity. Because the longer the contest drags on, the shorter the time the winner will serve the 27th District, which will cease to exist in its current form in 2013. The candidates each held ebullient, and premature, victory parties late Tuesday, but as of Wednesday night, there was still no winner. And there may not be for at least another week, if not two, or three, though each candidate continued to assert he had won. On election night, the upstart Republican candidate, David Storobin, rattled the Democratic establishment by taking a 120-vote lead over Lewis A. Fidler, a three-term city councilman, with more than 21,000 votes cast. On Wednesday night, Mr. Storobin increased his lead to 143 votes, according to the New York City Board of Elections — a number that will continue to change.
There are at least 757 paper ballots waiting to be counted, and perhaps hundreds more expected, since, if postmarked by Monday, they can continue to arrive until next Tuesday. Officials will start counting the paper ballots the following morning. “You’re laughing in the Twilight Zone because you don’t really know if it’s funny or not,” said Douglas A. Muzzio, a professor of public affairs at Baruch College. “It’s funny because of the bizarreness of it.” He added, “It’s Ionesco and Pirandello, too much theater of the absurd.”
The winner of the special election in southern Brooklyn will replace Carl Kruger, who resigned and pleaded guilty to corruption charges. The last day of the legislative session of 2012 is June 21. A redrawn district will be represented in the new legislative session, which opens in 2013.