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Espaillat Challenges House Primary Election Results In Court

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State Senator Adriano Espaillat is formally challenging the results of last week's 13th Congressional District primary against Charles Rangel.

Espaillat claims valid ballots are not being counted and some voting machines were broken.

Rangel had a 2,300-vote margin of victory on primary night. Red flags soon emerged, though, when dozens of election districts reported that no votes were cast on Primary Day.

That lead has since dwindled to just 802 votes and it does not include roughly 2,100 absentee and affidavit ballots.

The state senator likened his post-election fight to the one that followed the 2000 presidential race between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

"We cannot have a Florida-type situation in New York State. It is just impossible," said Espaillat. "But the Board of Elections has not conclusively given us a result for this election."

Espaillat said his campaign has received hundreds of complaints of voter suppression. His team took its case to State Supreme Court Monday. His lawyer is planning to file a new petition Tuesday that would allow Espaillat to seek a do-over election.

Rangel's campaign manager, Moises Perez, said Espaillat has the right to turn to the courts, but he wanted the case dealt with quickly.

"We want this process to be over and done with so that the will of the people can be established as soon as possible," said Perez.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the race Monday, taking aim at the Board of Elections.

"This is not rocket scientist stuff. I don’t know how many votes were cast in the total election, 6,000 votes? Something like that? You could have, in one day, one person could have counted all the ballots," said Bloomberg.

The mayor endorsed Rangel, but his attacks seem to bolster Espaillat's case.

A spokeswoman for the BOE said it has acted in accordance with the law.

As for Rangel, he wrote his supporters Monday asking for money to help him through the legal fight. He said in the email that the race is not completely over.

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