On Saturday, we reported that 50th Assembly District Committeeman Lincoln Restler tweeted about his surprise 53 vote win over Vito Lopez-endorsed challenger Chris Olechowski. But alas, politicking is a fickle thing, and now it seems that Restler's actually down by 31 votes, due to a scanning machine issue at a Board of Elections poll site. Will the madness never end?!
Restler, who has been an avid Lopez critic and champion of political reform in Greenpoint, Wiliamsburg and Fort Greene, was originally behind Olechowski by under 200 votes after the state and local primary election on September 13, but managed to eke out a lead after all the absentee and emergency ballots were counted. Now, however, reports of differing counts from memory sticks at an 850 Kent Ave poll site scanning machine have led to new results, bringing Restler just a few votes behind Olechowski. Now, according to Restler's campaign page, a volunteer-run hand recount will tally up the final results this week.
We reached out to Restler, who is also rumored to be eyeing a seat on City Council, but have yet to receive a comment—meanwhile, if you're interested in participating in the hand count, you can email Restler at email@example.com. As Tom Stoppard once put it, "In Democracy, it's not the voting, it's the counting."