By one count the difference was four votes. By another it was 41.
With the official tally in the 28th Council District Democratic primary still two days away, 24-year-old Lynn Nunes was already vowing to continue his fight against incumbent Councilmember Thomas White, Jr., who, a week after the September 15 primary, led Nunes by even the young candidate’s own calculations.
“The first step is to make sure everyone’s votes are counted,” said Nunes, who explained that he was able to shock the Democratic establishment in southeastern Queens by connecting with the community, understanding the issues and knocking on doors – “not just a couple of doors but thousands of doors.”
While city Board of Elections (BOE) spokesperson Valerie Vazquez would not comment on any “unofficial” results, she allowed that the certified vote would be made public on Thursday, September 24 and that absentee ballots received by the September 22 deadline were still being counted.
Vazquez could not say whether 28th District voting machines from primary day had been re-canvassed, though another BOE source said re-canvassing was complete and that the total – minus any remaining absentee ballots – stood at 1,920 votes for White and 1,879 for Nunes. The two candidates were the frontrunners in a field of six, splitting about 64 percent of the collective vote.
White’s office would not comment before the official results were released, but his campaign said election night that it was confident that the absentee ballots would lean in his favor.
Meanwhile, Nunes said a BOE source told him he was down by just four votes, a margin of error he said was simply too small to be sure that the right man would end up in office.
“Hundreds of people were involved,” Nunes said of the election and the re-canvassing process. “An error on someone’s part could affect and quite possibly . . . already has affected the outcome of the election. It’s important that the people make this decision.”
Nunes promised to challenge White if the official results are as close as he imagines they will be.
“We can’t let those discrepancies end up determining who’s going to be the councilperson,” he said. “At the very minimum, I would request a new election and let the people go out and vote again.”