Hand Recount in Storobin-Fidler Election


storobin-fidlerIt’s the election without end.

After weeks of legal wrangling and fierce fights over the legitimacy of absentee ballots, the Board of Elections announced yesterday that it will conduct a manual recount to determine who won the March 20 special election to succeed corrupt state Sen. Carl Kruger in Brooklyn.

With the last of the absentee ballots finally tabulated, Republican David Storobin emerged on top of Democrat Lew Fidler by just 27 votes out of 22,137 cast.

By law, a recount is required when the margin of victory in any election is less than 10 votes or 0.5 percent of the votes cast. In this case, that would be 110 votes.

But the winner here may walk away with fool’s gold.

Kruger’s district was wiped out by the state Legislature in this year’s redistricting. Unless a federal court intervenes and changes the lines, Storobin or Fidler would have to run again in an entirely new Senate district later this year.

With the clock ticking, Storobin called on Fidler to toss in the towel so he can start serving in his first elective office before Albany goes on vacation.

“Our position is that Lew Fidler needs to concede and the Board of Elections should certify this election now that all the votes have finally been counted,” Storobin’s campaign said in a statement.

“We’re going on six months now that the people of the 27th District have been without representation in the Senate, and the election itself was over almost two months ago. Any attempt by the Fidler campaign to push for a recount would only delay the inevitable at further cost to the taxpayers.”

Storobin told The Post he’s confident of victory because if there were mistakes, they were made by first-time Russian-American voters that would “swing in our favor.”

Fidler, a city councilman, held firm to his position that the election process has to play out to the end.

“This means we’re going to count all the votes,” he said. “We’ll find out if the machines work. Some public good will be coming out of this, if nothing else.”

Electronic voting machines were introduced here in 2010 and the recount will be the first test of whether the paper ballots scanned into the new machines match the numbers released on Election Day.

“I go into this without expectations because it’s never been done before,” said Fidler. “Nobody’s looking to create chads and Florida here.”

One election official wondered what would happen if a ballot had a circle around a candidate’s name that wasn’t recognized by the scanner.

Voters were instructed to fill in a box next to the candidate of their choice to make sure their vote was recorded.

“Now you’re dealing with a question of intent,” said the official, suggesting the type of unprecedented issues that might be faced.

Board spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said the agency’s commissioners would meet today to schedule the recount, which would probably begin next week.

{NY Post/Matzav.com Newscenter}



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