On primary night last Tuesday, Charlie Rangel declared victory, Adriano Espaillatgave a concession speech, and everything seemed set. The third-longest serving Congressman had held his district again. Well, it's now the 13th, instead of the 15th, with slightly different borders (albeit still the most population-dense district in America.) But a funny thing happened on the way to the ultimate outcome:
As of Friday evening, 32 precincts – six percent of all votes cast – had yet to be accounted for. And another 2,447 affidavit ballots and 667 absentee votes hadn’t been counted yet either. According to the city Board of Elections, Rangel’s lead over second-place finisher state Sen. Adriano Espaillat stood at 1,032 votes, with enough outstanding ballots to alter the outcome. Source
Today everyone goes to court.
The two sides are due in court Monday over an Espaillat lawsuit that alleges valid ballots are not being counted and some voting machines were broken.
Rangel’s margin has been adjusted to 802 votes — far fewer than the number of paper and absentee ballots still to be counted this week.
Whoever wins the primary will hold the seat that Rangel won from Adam Clayton Powell back in 1971. If it's Espaillat, he will be the first Dominican-American to hold a Congressional seat. The issue is Washington Heights and Inwood, two neighborhoods in the district that appear to have been undercounted, with missing vote sheets, reports of voter suppression, and a large Hispanic population. The Dominican American National Roundtable has asked the Federal DoJ to oversee the NYC count.