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Votes Still Being Counted In Brooklyn City Council Race

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A City Council election in Brooklyn has come and gone, but there's still no winner. Now, the Board of Elections is turning to paper ballots to determine who will come out on top. NY1’s Michael Scotto filed this report.

Election Day was over a week ago, but there's no winner yet in a special City Council race in Brooklyn.

“I could use some more sleep, but I feel great,” said Vincent Gentile.

“We're going to get through this, and I feel victorious,” said Rosemarie O’Keefe.

But she's not there yet. Wednesday, the race between O'Keefe and Gentile entered phase two: the paper ballot count. It's a tedious process in which lawyers for each candidate and commissioners from the Board of Elections sit at a crowded table reviewing nearly 600 paper ballots.

“Every single vote counts,” said Gentile. “People talk about Florida in 2000, but now Florida in 2000 may become an asterisk to Brooklyn in 2003.”

Unofficial results show O'Keefe leading by around 30 votes.

“Winning is better than not winning, and I’m very hopeful that we will,” said O’Keefe. “Going in with 30 votes ahead is better than going in with not 30 ahead.”

The count started Wednesday, and it is unlikely to wrap up before the weekend. Each ballot is carefully analyzed and then placed in one of four boxes: one is for valid ballots, another for those determined to be invalid and the last two are for ballots requiring a judge's scrutiny.

“Hopefully the attorneys for both sides won't have too many objections and we can get through this process,” said John Ravitz, the executive director of the Board of Elections.

The more objections will, of course, drag out the process. But both sides are hopeful there will be a winner sooner, rather than later.

- Michael Scotto
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