Rangel Race Gets Closer, Goes to Court

June 30, 2012

By ANDREW GROSSMAN, The New York Times

Adriano Espaillat’s congressional campaign on Friday accused the city Board of Elections of blocking access to the ballot-counting process as incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel’s margin of victory narrowed this week.

The legal challenge—filed in State Supreme Court—came three days after Mr. Rangel’s victory in a competitive Democratic primary seemed secure. The 82-year-old congressman declared victory, and Mr. Espaillat, a state senator, conceded.

But things have only grown murkier since then as Mr. Rangel’s reported victory margin shrunk from about 6 percentage points reported on Tuesday night to 2.6 points on Friday. Just 1,032 votes separate the two men out of 38,506 cast.

Mr. Espaillat’s legal challenge will get a hearing Monday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The campaign alleges that the elections board hasn’t allowed the campaign to “adequately monitor” the counting of votes. About 70 election districts still must be counted, the campaign said.

“Three days after a winner was declared in this election, there are still votes to be counted,” the Espaillat campaign said in a statement Friday.

The uncertainty is also shedding light on the city’s vote-tallying system, which relies on the combined efforts of poll workers, the Board of Elections, the New York Police Department and the Associated Press.

To read more, visit:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303649504577497260546544708.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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