Board of Elections calls for recount in race to succeed Vann

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Latest tally has Cornegy clinging to 68-vote lead over Foy

By Stephen Witt

The Board of Elections (BOE) announced Tuesday it will recount the 36th District City Council vote later this week after the latest official tally narrowed Robert Cornegy’s lead over Kirsten John Foy to 68 votes.

According to BOE official figures, there were 14,407 votes cast in the five-person race with Cornegy receiving 4,367 votes, or 30.31% of the electorate to Foy’s 4,299 votes, or 29.84% of the electorate with the difference being .47%.

“As a result of the margin of victory being less than a half of a percentage point, there will be an automatic recount as is the commissioner’s policy,” said BOE spokesperson Anthony Nasti.

Nasti did not say when the recount would take place and how long it will take, but both campaigns said they expect the recount Thursday (too late for this issue’s deadline).

“The machines have already been counted and certified so they are only counting paper again,” said Cornegy.  “I’ve always believed in and stood for the democratic process and something I want as a candidate is for every vote to count. The fact is the numbers remain in our favor and I have no reason to believe there will be any change once votes are recounted.”

While Cornegy thinks the next count will again go in his favor and that will end the election, the Foy campaign maintains there were several voting irregularities. Foy’s campaign also did not rule out a possible lawsuit if the recount doesn’t go their way.

“The administration of this process by the Board of Elections in such a close race – twice losing the ballots of the candidate and his wife and the discovery of new voting machines, among other irregularities – has given us substantial reasons to review all irregularities before making any decision,” said Tyquana Henderson-Parsons, campaign manager for Kirsten John Foy’s campaign. “What is clear is that the more paper ballots that were counted, the more votes Kirsten John Foy received towards further narrowing the margin. In aiming to protect the sanctity of the vote and ensure all voters’ voices are heard, we are examining the various irregularities that occurred on Primary Day and over the past several days at the Board of Elections, and why over 1,000 absentee and affidavit votes have been thrown out in this race.”

Among the irregularities the Foy campaign alleged is that the BOE indicated it had found more paper ballots in this race, a day after it had communicated to the campaign that all the paper ballots had been counted.

Additionally, the Foy campaign alleges the BOE lost the ballots of Foy and his wife twice and didn’t reappear until the campaign’s attorney began asking questions.

Other irregularities alleged by Foy’s campaign includes possible tampering with and finding a new voting machine, and that the BOE threw out over 1,000 votes, some of which were from Democratic-registered voters who wrote their name, address and votes correctly, but failed to write their Democratic enrollment out on the affidavit form separate from the actual ballot.