NYC mayor’s race: Maya Wiley files lawsuit suggesting hand recount of ballots

New York Elections

NEW YORK — Democratic mayoral candidate Maya Wiley has filed a lawsuit suggesting a hand recount of election ballots may be necessary.

Wiley suggested the less-than-350-vote difference between herself and fellow candidate Kathryn Garcia in the second-to-last round of ranked choice vote counting would merit a recount under New York law. The lawsuit acknowledges the current results are only preliminary, and roughly 125,000 absentee ballots need to be counted.

“This is a wide open race and as is standard procedure, my campaign filed a petition to preserve the right to challenge the results should we believe it is necessary. For now, we must allow the democratic process to continue and ensure every vote is counted transparently,” Wiley said in a statement Friday.

Read part of the lawsuit here:

However, the possibility of recounting by hand in a ranked choice election raises the prospect of a costly and timely process. It would be one where New Yorkers are left wondering who the likely next mayor would be.

Aaron Foldenauer is a lesser known candidate for mayor and an election lawyer.

Foldenauer explained it could be a time consuming and expensive process because of the many rounds of Ranked choice voting elimination.

“So really you’re not counting one million ballots, you’re counting one million ballots 13 times, so that’s 13 million hand counts,” he said.

However, the race may very well be headed to court and to a recount if things remain close, especially after the Board of Elections already admitted it messed up counting earlier this week.

“Given the errors the BOE has made, any judge is going to be far more inclined to get involved and have additional oversight over the Board,” Foldenauer said.

Garcia and current frontrunner Eric Adams have already filed similar lawsuits, but neither of them have suggested a manual recount.

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