The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) may have set the stage to declare that state Senator Frank Padavan has been re-elected to his 11th District seat.
In a seven-to-three vote at a meeting on Tuesday, December 30, Democrats from the Bronx and Staten Island joined five Republican Borough Commissioners in adopting a “final determination” on approximately 1,750 invalid ballots which have been at the center of a legal dispute in the race.
After a count of nearly 91,000 votes, Padavan leads Gennaro by 580, with 252 disputed ballots set aside for judicial review.
Democrats have insisted that they should have another chance to go through the invalid ballots and on Wednesday, December 10, Judge Kevin Kerrigan agreed with them.
Republicans appealed Kerrigan’s order to the State Supreme Court Appellate Division, and on Wednesday, December 23, a four-judge panel decided that the question wasn’t even ready for court consideration, because the city BOE hadn’t voted on the Queens BOE workers’ decision.
The BOE was specific in meeting the requirement.
“Be it resolved by the Board that all determinations of the bi-partisan team of Board Employees upon the ballots, wherein the subject ballots/ballot envelopes were determined to be invalid are hereby affirmed and adopted as the final determination of this Board, so as to comply with the order of the Appellate Division,” they said.
Republicans insist that with this vote, the counting is done. Since the disputed ballots can’t affect the outcome, they’re ready to withdraw any objections they may have had. Padavan should be certified the winner, they say.
However, the BOE is still subject to Kerrigan’s restraining order and his court is adjourned until Tuesday, January 6.
If he accepts this “final determination,” it is possible that Padavan can be certified and ready to take the seat he has occupied since 1972, when the Senate convenes on Wednesday, January 7.
If not, how long the seat will remain empty is anybody’s guess.