SI Live

Real-Time News


Recount in Staten Island City Council election gets underway -- may take weeks

Posted by gnyback March 04, 2009 12:39PM


Don't hold your breath.


A half an hour into the recount of votes cast in Staten Island's North Shore City Council election last week, just two of 125 election districts have been tallied.


In that tally of 142 votes, which began 11:50 a.m., Ken Mitchell got 84; Debi Rose and John Tabacco got 23; Rev. Dr. Tony Baker got eight; Donald Pagano received three, and Paul Saryian got one.


Officials will count votes until 2 p.m., when they will be given a half hour lunch break. Once they return, the counting will continue until 7 p.m. It will continue again tomorrow.


An attorney for candidate Ms. Rose, who trailed Mitchell by 91 votes after the initial count, predicts the counting can take as much as two weeks.


About a dozen Board of Elections workers -- headed by city BOE general counsel Steven Richman -- have spent the morning at the Staten Island BOE office in Clifton examining contents of improperly sealed or incompletely marked envelopes submitted to the BOE by police officers, on behalf of poll workers.


The envelopes contain everything from the paper ballots used to poll worker instructions, pens and voting machine keys.


About two dozen observers, including Ms. Rose and candidates Baker and Tabacco, are in attendance. Mitchell is represented by his attorneys.


Even if the recount is completed in two weeks, a City Council member for the North Shore may not be sworn in for a long time. Legal challenges could potentially tie up the election results for weeks or months.


An initial count of roughly 10,000 ballots ended in a narrow, 91-vote lead for candidate Kenneth Mitchell over Debi Rose. A complete recanvass -- or recount -- off all votes, including absentee and affidavit ballots will eventually determine the winner.


This recount differs from earlier elections in that exclusive use of paper ballots because of the last-minute reinstatement of candidate John Tabacco onto the ballot, preventing the BOE from having enough time to ready the traditional pull-lever voting machines. The paper-balloting opens the door for voting irregularities and could lead to some votes being thrown out.


-Reported by Tom Wrobleski

Categories: News, North Shore, Politics


demsbest says...


Just a word to the wise:


We will Re-count, Re-count, sue, Re-count, sue, Re-count, Law Suit, recount, law suit, recount, recount, sue, Re-count, Re-count, sue, Re-count, sue, Re-count, Law Suit, recount, law suit, recount, recount, sue, Re-count, Re-count, sue, Re-count, sue, Re-count, Law Suit, recount, law suit, recount, recount, sue, Re-count, Re-count, sue, Re-count, sue, Re-count, Law Suit, recount, law suit, recount, recount, sue,


until the RIGHT result is in.


So just give us the Right reuslt NOW!

Posted on 03/04/09 at 12:10PM

Bonanna says...


I am confident that my girl Ms. Rose will win.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 12:42PM

luv2fly says...


I live on the North Shore and I never heard of this Debi Rose character...where did she come from? Did she even go out to try and get votes?

Posted on 03/04/09 at 12:43PM

grimanon says...


Counting 10,000 votes takes weeks, 142 votes takes 30 minutes. Can't get electronic voting accomplished despite millions of dollars already spent. Hmmmm. I wonder who is making money off of this?

Posted on 03/04/09 at 12:45PM

iliveheredou says...


This is becoming a nationwide pandemic. We need to make some straightforward rules and stick to them. We are all tired of the infighting. In 1960 when Nixon was presented with compelling evidence that Chicago was tampered with during the Pres election he told his people that it was better for the nation to move ahead with one president than a challenger. Nixon should have won Illinois and the election. I am not a Nixon fan but, of all people, Nixon seems to have shown more character than many of us today.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 12:58PM

Baybdots says...


Why is it when someone loses they want a re count. Ken Mitchell is the winner. what is Ms Rose and her gang crying about now Ms Rose does things for her community Mariners Harbour but that is about it. She is one sided on many things. I heard she is with CB1

Posted on 03/04/09 at 1:03PM

hillarymygrl says...


Why are any of the candidates in the room? I think that would put some pressure on those counting. They should only be allowed to have representatives there.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 1:20PM

RFK1968 says...


She wants a recount because she only lost by 48 votes, in a special election that had lots of room for error; with a paper ballot and plenty of stray markings and illegables, etc. At least that was what was reported before. 91 votes is also too close, considering that there are around 300 absentee ballots yet to be counted as well.


I can't believe how careless we are with this process! Isn't this what the entire country is hinged upon? And we want to spread democracy to far away lands... we can't even get it right in our own Country.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 1:20PM

richchri says...


what no comments from drop55 today? oh that's right that's because he's at the BOE counting votes.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 1:23PM

questman says...


This is not a recount. This is the official BOE count, all numbers beforehand are unofficial numbers.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 1:30PM

TheWindBlows says...


Let's face it- whoever wins, there will be a recount and then a lawsuit, etc. etc. Which means alot of the taxpayer's money goes out of the window, which is primarily due to the paper ballot process.( Thanks-J.T.) Oh and let's not forget another primary in September and another election in November.This is just the beginning.Good luck to them both, because both of it are in it for the long haul.There is one thing that can be predicted- the Dem County Chair is going to hide out on this one.Either way- he is done for.

Posted on 03/04/09 at 3:37PM

blkprl45 says...


I think Ken will just resign if he loses, thats because he just is a normal person. Politician granted but normal. The other well, Can't say to much for her and her reputation at a place she works.

Posted on 03/05/09 at 11:36AM

opinion2468 says...


To Richchri. Why all your sarcasm? The canidates have a right to have a representative at the BOE. I guess they also have a right to be present themselves. Ms. Rose was there along with Ms. Remauro as stated in the article.

Posted on 03/05/09 at 5:09PM

13clown says...


does it really matter who wins? aren't they just going to screw us in the long run?

Posted on 03/06/09 at 12:30AM