In a scripted meeting on Monday afternoon that lasted less than ten minutes, The New York City Board of Elections unanimously certified the results of the full, manual recount in the race for the Democratic nomination for Queens District Attorney.
According to the Board’s official tally, Melinda Katz won 60 more votes than Tiffany Cabán, who initially declared victory on primary night when the unofficial results showed she held a lead of less than 1,100 votes.
But the Cabán campaign is not conceding. All parties are due in court on Wednesday.
In a statement, Cabán’s attorney Jerry Goldfeder stressed that the certification process signals the start of their court battle to restore more than 100 ballots invalidated during the recount process, including those tossed for minor errors.
“Legal precedent established several years ago by The Appellate Division, Second Department indicates that these minor, clerical errors are insufficient grounds to invalidate otherwise eligible votes,” said Goldfeder.
But even as Caban’s team prepares for their court challenge, Katz plans to hold an appreciation party with her supporters and volunteers Monday night at Banter, an Irish bar in Forest Hills and the same site she held her Primary Night return party on June 25th.
Calling it a “great day for the people of Queens,” Katz added, “while it is everyone’s right to avail themselves of the judicial process, I urge all participants in this hard-fought election to come together and join me in beginning the hard work of reforming the criminal justice system in Queens.”
The full manual recount was triggered after the initial recanvass of votes cast in the June 25th primary found that 16 votes separated Katz and Cabán, which fell within the one-half of one-percent margin set by the Board to conduct a manual recount of all the cast ballots.
Board staff along with volunteers from both the Katz and Cabán campaigns worked six days a week starting Monday, July 15th until last Thursday to complete the 91,000 ballot recount.
The Board’s Executive Director Michael Ryan praised the staff’s conduct during the recount process and offered a preemptive defense against allegations that one side was treated unfairly during the process.
“The parties that were subject of the litigation that’s coming up were given full, fair, open and transparent access to every step of these proceedings,” Ryan said during the meeting.
Asked after the meeting whether there’s ever been an election in the six years he’s served as the Board’s Executive Director that was overturned after it was certified, Ryan said, “no, it hasn’t happened.”
Brigid Bergin is the City Hall and politics reporter for WNYC. You can follow her on Twitter at @brigidbergin.