Vote Watch 2004
Vote/Election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in Election 2004

 

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NEW YORK

 

11/16/04 [Permalink]
Tampering of voting machines charged in Yonkers, New York, with the discovery of damaged or missing seals in 22 machines. Recount currently showing significantly shrink in lead for Republican in state Senate race. 

Via Votersunite, this article from a local NBC affiliate:

After the first hours of a two-week vote recount, Democrats claimed Monday that their candidate for the state Senate from Yonkers had wiped out almost all of her unofficial deficit and moved within 288 votes of the powerful Republican incumbent, Nicholas Spano.

The GOP's election lawyer, John Ciampoli, acknowledged some gains for Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins but said, "None of this means anything until all the recanvass of the machines is done, over and finished."

The count was partial, with just 15 percent of the machine vote checked by late afternoon. But the quick recovery buoyed the forces of Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester County legislator who took on the Senate's assistant majority leader and a nine-term veteran.

"If this trend holds, we are confident that Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be the next state senator from the 35th Senate District," said the Democrats' election lawyer, Henry Berger, who was at the recount in a machine storage warehouse in Yonkers.

A Spano defeat would mean a third seat whittled from the 38-24 majority Senate Republicans had earlier this year.

The unofficial vote total, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, gave Spano a lead of 1,674 votes. He had 54,120 votes, or 51 percent, to Stewart-Cousins' 52,446 votes, or 49 percent.

Ciampoli said Republicans knew that gap was inflated and added, "I am neither surprised nor panicked."

The two sides have traded allegations about irregularities in the voting, with Republicans claiming voters were imported from New York City and Democrats claiming voters were harassed and voting machines were tampered with. All machines and records were impounded by judges.

The county Board of Elections disclosed Friday that seals on 22 machines were damaged or missing.

As the recount progressed on Monday, election workers, closely watched by representatives of the campaigns, compared vote totals recorded on machines with the tallies reported by poll workers on Election Night.

Jonathan Rosen, director of the state Democrats' campaign committee, said Berger told him that nearly every machine had a higher count for Stewart-Cousins than was recorded. However, Spano also gained votes, including 80 from one machine, Rosen said.

All machines in Yonkers -- and in portions of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant that are in the Senate district -- are scheduled to be recounted by Wednesday.

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