2013-02-22 / Front Page

Council Race Too Close To Call

By Miriam Rosenberg

(Video by John Kenny - NYTrue.com)   The top two vote getters in the special election for city councilman in the 31st District both declared victory Tuesday night with just 26 votes separating Donovan Richards and Pesach Osina.

Richards had the slim lead but a clear winner won’t be named until at least Wednesday, February 27th when some 400 paper ballots and accompanying affidavits are counted.

As the votes were tallied Tuesday evening, each candidate and their supporters took turns declaring victory as the vote count went back and forth. The tight race was further complicated by the news that a “memory stick” from a vote scanning machine from one polling place had yet to be read. A spokesperson for The Board of Elections told The Wave on Thursday that it was likely the memory stick was empty and that the Board was awaiting confirmation of this as The Wave went to press.

Still the memory stick was a source of intrigue. According to reports, the faulty memory stick is from the polling site at PS 52. While the BOE said they did not know what areas it represented, Richards’ tweeted on Wednesday morning that the missing votes came from PS 52, Ocean Village, St. Claires in Rosesale, and IS 270. These are areas that should be favorable to Richards.

According to another report, the Board of Elections sent out 1,275 absentee ballots. Of those, 898 have been returned so far and 519 are being considered valid. Supporters of Osina held the belief that these figures would help their candidate.

With such a close election a recount is possible. New York State law requires an automatic recount if the final vote margin is 0.5 percent.

According to the Daily News, Jacques Leandre, with 1,160 votes, came in third followed by Michael Duncan with 962, Selcontinued vena Brooks with 817, Marie Adam- Ovide with 159, Saywalah Kesselly with 152 and Allan Jennings with 114.

This special election will decide who will serve out the remaining 10 months of the term of James Sanders Jr. who was elected to the state senate. Whoever becomes councilman will likely have to run in another primary later this year to get on the ballot in November.

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