Thursday, December 4, 2008

State Senate Race: The Final Lap? by Lisa Fogarty - Queens Tribune

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Representatives from the Queens Board of Elections and lawyers for both the Queens County Democrats and Queens County Republicans are still hard at work counting the last of the paper ballots and affidavits to determine the winner of the District 11 State Senate seat.

On Tuesday, as the final 26th Assembly District ballots were bring counted, the numbers showed Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) leading Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) by 742 plus votes, according to Vincent Tabone, executive vice chairman of the Queens County Republican Party. The districts that remain to be counted are the 27th, 29th and 33rd. Assuming disputes and other issues that could delay the process are kept at bay, a final count could take place by Saturday evening, Tabone said.

The Queens Board of Elections commenced its machine and paper ballot count on Nov. 5, after Election Day results concluded that the race between Padavan and Gennaro was too close to determine. Since then, there have been several delays in the process including one last week, when lawyers for the Queens County Democratic Party accused their Republican counterparts of disputing several ballots unfairly, some based on race – allegations that the Republican Party denied.

Democratic Spokesperson Austin Shafran said Tuesday that current vote counts are premature and inaccurate because of the hundreds of remaining legitimate ballots of minority voters that Republicans have challenged based on race.

“We will keep going until every vote is counted,” he said.