Rangel, who has been an impressive and productive member of the United States House of Representatives for 40 years, was declared the winner of the Democratic Primary last week by many news organizations, and he has a lead in the unofficial vote count. But, Rangel, who is also the Dean of the New York State Congressional delegation, has a very small lead.
As of Friday, six percent of the vote, represented by 32 precincts, had yet to be counted. Another 2,447 affidavit ballots and 667 absentee votes had also not yet been counted. Rangel's lead was 1,032 votes, according to the Board of Elections.
On Saturday night, the Board of Elections announced updated unofficial results that include all of the precincts but none of the absentee ballots or affidavit ballots. The updated Rangel lead was just 802 votes with 3,000 potential votes uncounted.
What Went Wrong?
According to Politico, the reason that six percent of votes have not yet been tabulated is that the police officers tasked with providing an unofficial record of the data from those precincts after securing voting boxes on election night had not done so. On Friday of last week, elections officials said a final tally would arrive by 2 p.m. that day. The final tally was not communicated until Saturday.
The person whom Charlie Rangel apparently defeated last week, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, has filed suit in an effort to get access to the vote counting process.
State Senator Espaillat issued a statement:
“Our campaign has not been allowed to adequately monitor the Board of Elections’ proceedings, as required by law. The BOE continues to stonewall not only our campaign but also the news media, which is particularly disturbing given that it blocks the free flow of information and transparency — the bedrock of our democratic system.”
Now, the courts will decide how much access the campaigns are given. The Board of Elections will, hopefully, count all of the legitimate votes and announce an official winner this week.