The city Board of Elections just re-certified the results of the race — including an additional 1,579 ballots finally counted last week. Exactly 238 days elapsed between the Nov. 6 election and the beleaguered Board’s Tuesday sign-off on the latest update — raising serious questions about how quickly and reliably the agency can make a call in the upcoming Sept. 10 primary. “There’s three weeks between the primary and the runoff election, and the Board is going to have to perform at a optimal level,” said Alex Camarda, public policy director for the Citizens Union good-government group. “The fact that they’re discovering these uncounted votes [only now] casts doubt on their ability to do that,” he said. “It diminishes public confidence in the integrity of the election system.” Under a bill awaiting Gov. Cuomo’s signature, the Board could haul out its old lever voting machines for the primary and a widely anticipated subsequent runoff that would be triggered if no candidate captures 40% of the vote.
In the latest head-shaker, Brooklyn board officials say a routine April review raised flags about a questionable mismatch between the number of people who turned up to vote in November and ballots actually cast.
An internal Board investigation eventually narrowed the problem down to two scanners at two pollsites — Brooklyn Borough Hall and the Carroll Gardens Public Library.
Voters had used the machines, but the data on the scanners’ “memory sticks,” for some still-unexplained reason, never made it into the Board of Elections database.
Using the paper trail from the two scanners, elections officials last week ran a hand recount. On Tuesday, the Board recertified an updated November result including the information from the 1,579 ballots.