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Katz Leads Caban By 20 Points; Lawyers Hash Out Rules Of Recount – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Democratic primary for Queens district attorney is coming down to a ballot battle.

Public defender Tiffany Caban declared victory on Election Night, but a tally of paper ballots reversed the results, putting Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in the lead.

Now, the razor-thin margin is forcing an automatic recount.

(Credit: CBS2)

Caban, a Democratic Socialist, bucked the party establishment when the initial returns put her ahead of Katz, who some considered a shoe-in.

But Wednesday’s final count of paper ballots – which were not totaled on Primary Night – pushed Katz ahead with just 20 votes.

Such a narrow margin automatically triggers a recount. So both candidates’ teams must battle for every vote – a potentially long and expensive process.

Web Extras:

Demonstrators gathered outside the Board of Elections office Friday. Inside, lawyers for both candidates hashed out how the recount should proceed.

Caban declared victory when she had a 1,100-vote lead on Election Night, even though she knew there were 3,400 absentee ballots left to be counted, not expecting Katz to emerge 20 votes ahead.

“With a full recount coming up, there’s more work to be done. Help us make sure every valid vote is counted,” Caban tweeted Friday.

Katz claimed victory, saying, “We know that these numbers can and will be subjected to recount. But what matters is the will of Queens voters.”

Her apparent defeat-turned-victory might be explained by her campaign’s focus on absentee voters leading up to the election.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, there are questions about certain ballots that were thrown out for various reasons.

Putting any back in could make all the difference.

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