For Immediate Release: October 7, 2016
For More Information: (585) 286-3322
NEW YORK STATE SUPREME COURT DENIES RECOUNT: Vazquez loses primary by three votes as 24 ballots remain inconclusive
(Rochester, NY) – Peter Vazquez (R) lost his challenge today to force a recount in the 138th New York State Assembly District’s Republican Primary. Vazquez had requested a temporary restraining order to stop the certification of the Primary and to call for a full hand recount and visual inspection of all ballots cast in the September 13th Primary. The Monroe County Board of Elections petitioned the court to dismiss the lawsuit, which was granted in New York State Supreme Court this afternoon.
Although the margin of victory in this race was just three votes, the Board of Elections argued that Vazquez did not show sufficient cause to challenge the total. The official vote count showed 24 votes tallied as either void, blank, or “scattered,” and the Vazquez legal team maintained that those votes could have been the difference between winning and losing. If a voter shows intent on their ballot but the ballot scanner cannot read and process the vote, then a visual hand count would be necessary and appropriate.
Vazquez stated, “why the Board of Elections would not voluntarily submit to a recount in a race this close is beyond me. Obviously New York State Election Law has not caught up to the new voting machine technology. However, I am proud of our team’s effort and commitment to our ‘People First’ approach. We called for a recount to ensure that voters remain confident that their votes matter and that the system is transparent and trustworthy. I would like to thank all of the good people in the 138th who have supported this campaign in any way. You are truly appreciated.”
When the polls closed on September 13th, Vazquez held a slim six vote lead in the Primary over Bob Zinck, the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate. The next day, the Board of Elections reported that 14 absentee ballots had yet to be counted. However, one day later that number increased to 22; no reason was given for the apparent increase in ballots. Given this discrepancy, the slim margin of defeat, and the fact that a key employee at the Board of Elections concurrently serves as Zinck’s campaign manager, Vazquez decided to challenge the total vote count. Upon further review, the 24 inconclusive ballots provided a fourth reason to call for recount. Unfortunately, the Board of Elections and the New York State Supreme Court did not agree.