June 30, 2020

USA: A Black Candidate In A Congressional Primary Against Another Black Candidate, In A County Run By Democrats, Accuses His Black Opponent Of Suppressing Black Votes. Nuts.

New York Daily News
written by Denis Slattery and Chris Sommerfeldt
Thursday June 25, 2020

Assemblyman Michael Blake on Thursday refused to concede the closely-watched Democratic primary race to replace retiring South Bronx Rep. Jose Serrano, alleging that the election was hampered by “intentional black voter suppression.”

Blake, who scored second place in the Tuesday primary’s in-person ballot count, made the serious allegation in a lengthy statement released by his campaign in which he listed irregularities he said occurred as voters went to the polls.

He said a polling site in the predominantly black Concourse Village neighborhood was moved without explanation, “forcing elderly voters to walk 11 blocks away putting their health at risk” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another polling place “in the heart of a Black neighborhood” didn’t open on time, Blake said, prompting some voters to leave as the mercury climbed close to 90 degrees.

At a third site, affidavit ballots — cast by constituents who aren’t in the voter rolls but believe they’re still eligible — were so numerous that they had to be “put into a lockbox and taken to an unknown location,” Blake said.

“Were they counted?” the assemblyman wrote.

Though he offered no concrete evidence, Blake said the irregularities formed a dubious pattern.

“Intentional black voter suppression and undemocratic processes clearly don’t just happen in the South but also in the South Bronx,” he wrote. “These incidents, among others, are too pervasive to be a coincidence. They are a concerted effort to suppress the Black vote.”

City Councilman Ritchie Torres — who’s black — is on track to win the primary for Serrano’s seat, holding a 11% edge over Blake in the Election Day ballot count.

As with all of Tuesday’s primaries, mail-in ballots remain outstanding, but several election observers, including the non-partisan Cook Political Report, have called the race for Torres, saying his margin is too wide to beat.

Torres has notably refrained from claiming victory, saying he wants all mail-in ballots to be counted first, a process that’s expected to take days or possibly weeks.

“We reiterate what Ritchie said on election night: every vote must be counted. We’re confident that Ritchie will emerge from the complete vote as the decisive winner,” Torres’ campaign manager Nanette Alvarado said.

Blake said he likewise wants all mail-in ballots counted. However, he also said he wants the City and State Boards of Elections to launch investigations into his allegations of voter suppression.

“This race is not over. The fight is not done,” said Blake, who represents parts of Morrisania in the Assembly, but could not run for reelection due to his congressional bid.

The City Board of Elections declined to comment.

One Democratic insider said they were dumbfounded by Blake’s accusations, noting his high-ranking position in the Democratic National Committee: “This is a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee ... accusing the Bronx Democratic Party of rigging an election for a candidate they didn’t even endorse?”
[data source: Business Insider]

Business Insider
written by Grace Panetta
Monday June 30, 2020

Because of the substantial coronavirus-related increase in New Yorkers voting absentee and a New York law prohibiting election officials from processing absentee ballots until eight days after Election Day, the Democratic primary in New York's 15th district won't be called until after June 30.

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