Federal judge rules ballots received after New York primary without postmark must be counted

By Thomas Catenacci

A federal judge ordered election boards across New York to count ballots missing postmarks that weren’t received until after the state’s June Democratic primary.

Judge Analisa Torres, a judge in the Southern District of New York, ruled Monday that more than 1,000 ballots in question, which were cast in the June 23 primary, should be counted, The New York Times reported. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney was certified as the winner of New York’s 12th Congressional District’s closely contested primary Tuesday shortly after Torres’ ruling, CNN reported.

“Despite the postal service’s best efforts, there is uncontroverted evidence that thousands of absentee ballots for the June 23 Primary were not postmarked,” Torres wrote in her decision. “This could be due to a number of human or mechanical errors.”

Maloney, who is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, led her progressive challenger, Suraj Patel, by about 3,700 votes before Monday’s ruling meaning the roughly 1,000 uncounted ballots couldn’t sway the election, The Times reported. However, there were a total of 12,500 disputed absentee ballots in the primary, most of which remain uncounted even after Torres’ decision.

Torres decided that all ballots statewide received on June 24, the day after the primary, must be counted regardless of postmark and all ballots received by June 25 must be counted if they were postmarked by June 23. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on June 7 allowing every New Yorker to vote via absentee ballot during the primary, but said ballots must be postmarked by June 23 in order to be counted.

The New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) appealed Monday’s ruling, according to Emily Ngo, a Spectrum News NY1 reporter. It would be a “tremendous burden on the local boards as they are preparing for the November general election,” said Douglas Kellner, NYSBOE commissioner and co-chair.

Patel, who has not conceded the election, tweeted Wednesday that he intends “to see this fight through on behalf of Democracy.”

“It’s been six and a half weeks now. They have no idea what happened. They’re thousands of votes off. There are missing votes, there are fraudulent votes,” President Donald Trump said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”

He added: “They have to do the election over, there is no way that she can take that election.”

Trump, who has warned about the potential for fraud in a mail-in election, tweeted that November’s election will be the most corrupt election in U.S. history on July 21. He also suggested on Thursday that the election should be delayed.

About 1.2 million New Yorkers, including 414,582 New York City residents, voted by absentee ballot in the June primary, Torres said in her ruling. That is ten times the number of people voted via absentee ballot in the 2016 primary.

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4 thoughts on “Federal judge rules ballots received after New York primary without postmark must be counted

  1. Gee, what are the odds of that, a thousand unpostmarked pieces of mail…
    Looks like fraud to me.

  2. I predict that this year’s primary election in Vermont will be such a total disaster that The Sec. of State will have to abandon his plan to mail out ballets to every register voter for the general election. If we all follow the rules for voting by absentee ballet everything will be great but the rules are complicated and too many people will lose their vote. Perhaps a federal judge will step in and change the rules.

  3. The result was foreseeable and foreseen. Notwithstanding, the New York Board of Elections did it anyway. Unless it can be unquestionably established that the errors will not affect the outcome or one party officially concedes, what option is there but to re-run the election? And they propose to commit the same debacle again in three months – which suggests that this is willful, deliberate and – given the patent predictability of the result and the opportunity for manipulation – their motive is sorely questionable.

  4. This will be just the start of thing to come in this years elections,
    just more turmoil and deception………………..

    How do you win, by hook or by crook and this wholesale mail-in
    boondoggle is the way to do it, DNC play book !!

    Remember Rahm Emanuel ” You never let a serious crisis go to waste”,
    what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not
    do before……….Blanket mail-in ballots come to mind !!!

    I have voted for fifty years, rain or shine and this year will be no
    different, except I’ll be wearing a mask !!

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