Though Democrat Catherine Parker won the machine vote by a margin of 388 votes in District 7 of the Westchester Board of Legislators, Republican John Verni said he will wait to make any declaration about the outcome until he knows how many paper ballots are outstanding and whether machine and ballot problems could have affected the race.
“Every vote counts and every vote should be counted,” he said. “I don’t want to unnecessarily make Catherine wait, but I owe it to my friends and supporters to see that all their votes are counted.”
Board of Elections officials said there are 458 absentee ballots in District 7, which makes it highly unlikely that Verni could pull out a victory. But the number of affidavit ballots won’t be known until a judge lifts an impoundment order related to judicial races. Neither kind of ballot will be counted until then. A judgement is expected Wednesday.
The machine recanvass will be done Tuesday, followed by an audit, said Republican Elections Commissioner Doug Colety. Verni said he has heard complaints about broken machines in Rye Neck and ballots that may have been spoiled by bleeding ink in Rye. Colety said all that will be investigated as they match the number of ballots issued to the number of votes cast and hand count ballots to see if they match the machine numbers in the audit.
“We need to make sure the ‘bleeding ballot’ does not become the Westchester version of the ‘hanging chad’” Verni said.
District 7 includes Mamaroneck, Rye, Larchmont and parts of Harrison and New Rochelle.