Rejected ballots being reviewed in Padavan vs. Gennaro race

Roughly 1,750 paper ballots which had been declared invalid by the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) are being re-examined in the marathon 11th Senate District race between incumbent Senator Frank Padavan and City Councilmember James Gennaro.
At their regular Tuesday meeting on January 27, BOE Commissioners voted unanimously to reverse their 7-3 “final determination” of December 30 - which said the ballots could not be counted under Election Laws.
An earlier ruling by Judge Kevin Kerrigan that the rejected ballots should be rechecked was rejected by a four-judge Appellate panel, because the BOE had not made a “final determination.”
Once that was done, the parties returned to Kerrigan’s court. The BOE reversal, coming during the hearing process, was viewed as an indication that a deal had been struck between Democratic and Republican attorneys.
A source at the fringes of the dispute told The Courier that the move was “not unexpected,” indicating that lawyers for Padavan and Gennaro agreed to “re-canvass” the ballots.
In the count of nearly 91,000 votes, including 8,000 paper ballots, Padavan leads Gennaro by 580, with 252 disputed paper ballots still uncounted. A bipartisan panel of Queens BOE clerks had ruled that the remainder were invalid.
Sources familiar with the process also told The Courier said that there may be roughly another 1,000 ballots also set aside, but “there is no question” that they are invalid. Calls to the BOE to confirm the exact number were not returned by press time.
A source said that some ballots “that may have been rejected on a technicality could be resuscitated,” but also said, “There’s no guarantee that they’re all [Gennaro votes].”
The source said that if any were to emerge from the rejected pile, they would most likely “go into the court box” with the 252 still-disputed ballots awaiting review by Judge Kerrigan.

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