In the days leading up to the verdict on the 73rd Assembly District race, Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-Murray Hill, Lenox Hill) is filing suit against his challenger – again.
As of this writing, Quart and his challenge, Cameron Koffman, are only 916 votes apart; Quart has 2673 votes, compared to Koffman’s 1757; and there are still more than 10,000 absentee ballots left to count. Quart is already alleging foul play, and has filed a suit against Koffman and the NYC Board of Elections.
Specifically, Quart’s suit alleges that there were “irregularities” in in-person voting, citing “missing returns” due to “election inspectors improperly remov[ing] the memory stick from the scanner.” It also alleges that the voting machines were purposely rigged to count illegitimate votes.
Quart is not alleging, however, that Koffman was in any way responsible for these irregularities; his suit only identifies his challenger as another party in the case.
“We were brought into it as the other candidate,” said Koffman. “He’s not alleging that we had anything to do with what’s going on.”
To rectify the issue, the suit demands the satisfaction of one of the following conditions:
- A full hand count of all the ballots cast in the race;
- A recount of all the votes cast on the aforementioned scanners;
- Retesting and inspecting any scanners that may have malfunctioned during the counting process;
- Declaring Quart to be the official winner of the primary, by virtue of receiving the most valid votes;
- or holding an entirely new primary election at a future date.
Koffman believes that his request for a full count is wholly unreasonable, given the City’s current fiscal crisis. Furthermore, he suspects that the incumbent is trying to suppress the counting of absentee ballots.
“It looks like about 70 percent of the ballots cast in this race are going to be absentee,” said Koffman. “That’s a huge percentage. And he doesn’t want those ballots to be counted.”
Koffman went on to say that he’s confident that the absentee ballots could tip the race in his favor, given the effort he expended on voter outreach.
“We worked hard to reach out to voters over a month-and-a-half-long period, when the absentee ballots were going out,” said Koffman.
A spokesperson for Quart claimed that Quart filed the suit to ensure that he can pursue further litigation after all of the votes have been counted, if need be. They also said that this is a standard practice for candidates to do so while awaiting the results of an election.