Judge Rules To Include Disputed Ballots In Race To Succeed Kruger

Seven weeks after Brooklyn voters took to the polls to elect a new state Senator, a State Supreme Court Judge on Tuesday ruled that 119 disputed ballots will be included in the tally.

Democrat Lewis Fidler and Republican David Storobin have been locked in an extremely tight race and Fidler’s campaign contended in a court challenge that a Strobin campaign worker improperly collected absentee ballots.

But Judge Larry Martin said ““There was no evidence that [the worker] coerced or induced any of the witnesses to falsely apply for an absentee ballot.”

Storobin spokesmam David Simpson said “Everything the Storobin campaign did to encourage voter participation in this election, especially our outreach efforts into the Russian community, was done in accordance with the law and 100 percent above board.”

In his statement, Fidler said "Over 100 otherwise healthy people spontaneously declared themselves to be disabled in the presence of no one other than David Storobin’s staffer.  This is a proven fact.  The Storobin campaign knows exactly what it did here and purposefully set out to do it.
“This election – and this count – are far from over.  While we await the actual opening of these ballots, a hand recount of more than 22,000 ballots will undoubtedly follow.  At the very least, as this will be a first manual recount since the use of the new scanners, we will find out if the new machines are in fact giving us all an accurate count.  When all the ballots are double-checked for accuracy, we will know who will be entitled to take the oath of office. 

Without the absentee ballots, Fidler had an 87-vote lead over Storobin out of about 22,000 cast. The race in the 27th district is to succeed Sen. Carl Kruger, who has been convicted of corruption charges.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.