Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Board Of Elections Begins Recanvassing Vote Tallies From Tuesday's Primary

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Friday morning, the city's Board of Elections began the process of recanvassing, which basically means double-checking the vote tallies from Tuesday's primary. NY1's Bobby Cuza was there to get an up-close look, and as he explains in the following report, already, some discrepancies have been found.

On Friday morning, they cracked open the lever machines.

At locations in each borough, bipartisan teams began the painstaking process known as recanvassing: going back to all 5,100 machines, going down each column of candidates and checking the vote totals there against those recorded on election night.

"It's not a recount," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the New York City Board of Elections. "What it is is a verification process to validate the vote count from election night."

Of course, the race everyone's watching is the Democratic mayoral primary. With Bill de Blasio having registered 40.33 percent of the vote, just over the 40 percent required to avoid a runoff, the stakes are high.

"If he dips below 40 percent on the nose, down to 39.9, there is a mayoral runoff," Ryan said.

Discrepancies were discovered Friday. On one machine, a 22 for de Blasio was mis-recorded as a 2 on election night. The correction gains him 20 votes.

Ninety-eight machines citywide had zero votes were recorded on election night. On one of those machines, de Blasio won 62 votes, 42 percent of those cast.

Officials say human error on election night is inevitable.

"It's a long day. People get tired. People make mistakes," Ryan said. "It's a human process."

Recanvassing is also when paper pulled from the machines reveals write-in votes. Joey Buttafuoco and Gary Busey each garnered a vote for mayor on Staten Island.

The recanvassing process is expected to last into Sunday, and only once it's complete will we get updated vote totals. What's expected to effect the vote count even more significantly is the counting of tens of thousands of unopened absentee and affidavit ballots. That won't begin until Monday and is expected to last well into next week.

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