The manual recount in the Democratic race for Queens district attorney is finally underway.
Red pencils in hand, dozens of Board of Elections workers began their work at a warehouse facility in the Middle Village section of Queens.
There are thousands of pieces of papers to sort through. With every stack of ballots comes an opportunity to challenge the results.
Steven Richman, general counsel for the Board of Elections, said every ballot received on primary election day will be counted.
"Every ballot that during the canvass was deemed to be valid or anything cast at the poll site on election day that went through the scanner, and everyone of the affidavits, absentee, military voter and special ballots," Richman said. "All of that is co-mingled together, and we are counting it by each election district in the county. It will be counted together and we will get a final tally from each election district of all the ballots."
Lawyers for both campaigns, supporters and their volunteers kept a watchful eye over the process. At times, they bickered trying to discern markings on the ballot. Most of the time, it was a cordial process with both camps stressing the need for transparency.
"We want every valid vote counted. That is why we are here today at the manual recount. That's why we will be in court if it's necessary. We are confident that at the end of this process, Tiffany Caban will be the District Attorney," said Jerry Goldfeder, the lawyer for the Tiffany Caban campaign.
The Katz campaign issued a statement, accusing the Caban camp of undercutting the process.
In a statement, campaign adviser Matthew Ray said, "The Cabán camp has worked to undermine faith in the electoral system since Election Night, and we trust that it will not attempt to do so as this crucial process begins. The recount process is by nature a slow and meticulous one, with multiple checks and balances. It must run its course until every legally valid vote is counted."
Board of Elections workers began work to count the first four out of 18 assembly districts. They will continue to count every day through Saturday, pausing for lunch and a brief late afternoon break.
Workers here have 90,000 ballots to get through. A final count is expected in the next two to three weeks.