Uncertainty hangs over Democratic primary results

A woman votes at a polling station in Chelsea on September 10, 2013 in New York City.  Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
A woman votes at a polling station in Chelsea on Tuesday in New York City.
Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New York voters — and two candidates — must wait in limbo while the city’s Board of Elections determines whether a runoff is necessary to name the Democratic nominee for mayor.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has 40.33 percent of the vote — just over the 40 percent cutoff to avoid a runoff election in October with former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, at 26.23 percent.

But those results don’t include more than 16,000 Democratic paper ballots the Board of Elections will begin counting Monday, in addition to an unknown number of affidavits, a spokeswoman said.

Thompson said he would go to court Wednesday to order supervision of the ballot-counting process.

“It’s an obligation to the voters, to the process, to make sure every vote is counted, every vote is heard in this and that someone does get to 40 percent,” Thompson said.

At an Election Night party in Brooklyn, de Blasio thanked supporters and declared a “victory,” but did not specifically discuss the potential of a runoff, referring only to “the next round of this campaign.”

Many voters were expecting a runoff Tuesday, but Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, worried the long wait to count the paper ballots — 7 to 10 days by his estimation — would be detrimental.

“New York voters will be in a state of suspended animation as they wait for the results of this important election,” Dadey said.

The short time between when a runoff is determined necessary and the actual election, set for Oct. 1, also means fewer opportunities for campaigning, said Neal Rosenstein, government reform coordinator at the New York Public Interest Research Group.

“There’s a lot of twists to this and of course that’s going to dampen the outreach to voters,” Rosenstein said.

Voters extremely supportive of one particular candidate who didn’t make the runoff, such as those voters “in with Quinn,” will be less enthusiastic in a runoff scenario, Rosenstein added.

If the runoff is held, far fewer registered Democrats are expected to vote. Absentee voters, including members of the military, might not be able to send in their ballots on time as well, Dadey and Rosenstein said.

“It’s a failure of our democracy that we hold runoff elections that allow under 10 percent of registered voters determine who may be the next mayor,” Dadey said.

Thompson rebuked the suggestion that holding out before all votes are tallied would harm the Democratic Party, a sentiment Dadey expected.

“A candidate who’s spent the last four years running for mayor is not going to back down when it is so close,” he said.

A runoff — which is already necessary in the Democratic race for public advocate— will cost the city some $13 million, a Board of Elections spokeswoman said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…