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New York City Still Tallying Votes

By Robin Shulman
NEW YORK -- It's been 15 days since Super Tuesday, but New York City is still waiting to find out if Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton won the most-contested areas.

The Board of Elections has acknowledged that errors in reporting the election day tallies made it appear that Obama had received not a single vote in 55 election districts, when in reality his votes had simply not been counted, said Valerie Vazquez-Rivera, a spokeswoman for the board. In 27 other districts, Obama actually received no votes, she said.

Vazquez-Rivera attributed the discrepancies to human error as exhausted inspectors rushed to copy columns of numbers to be delivered to the police and then to the press.

"People have been working 16- and 17-hour days," she said. "There were instances where they just left the Obama field blank."

But on Tuesday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg described the results as "fraud."

"If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that's a euphemism for fraud," the mayor said.

No election districts reported that Clinton received no votes.

A representative of the Obama campaign said the campaign was not concerned and blamed the layout of the ballot, in which Clinton was listed first and Obama came fifth, right next to candidates who actually received zero votes in many districts.

The Board of Elections expects to announce official elections results for the city next week. It is common for cities and states to take weeks to officialize their results, including absentee and provisional ballots.

But in this hotly contested election, Obama's uncounted votes could make a difference. On Feb. 5, Clinton won 61 of New York state's 62 counties, but beat Obama in Brooklyn by less than 2 percent, a margin that could be affected by the miscount. More importantly, tallying an additional several hundred votes in some districts could help Obama gain several more delegates.

The mayor, an independent, wants to see the entire system overhauled so that professionals are hired to run elections instead of partisan Democrats and Republicans.

"It's akin to saying the Giants will bring a referee and the Patriots will bring a referee and they'll keep each other honest," said Stu Loeser, his spokesman. "No, the NFL hires impartial referees."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 20, 2008; 7:22 PM ET
 
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Posted by: Ethan zmcrd | April 10, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Peoples, whoever you are! Whoever you are!
Can we please straighten out this terrible mess by sometime BEFORE the Democratic Party's convention?

Or is it true to say (quoting legendary comedian Will Rogers) "I'm not a member of ANY organized party. I'm a Democrat."?

Posted by: luise1 | February 21, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The latest poll from Texas is out and has Clinton up 5% which is projected as an 8 delegate lead. Link, which also includes the latest PA poll: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/02/clinton-still-ahead-in-upcoming.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | February 21, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Here is rhyme written by my mother, who is white, 87 years old, lives in AZ, earns less than $50,000 a year and does not have a college degree. How's that for demographics!

Ethel's Rhyme for the Day
-------------------------------
ELECT OBAMA
YOUNG,HONEST,SINCERE,AND VITAL
HE'S GOT THE GOODS.

THE QUALITY AND CHARISMA
TO GET THIS COUNTRY
OUT OF THE WOODS
***
For all those millions who have suffered in Iraq, for the hundreds of thousand who have died, for the suffering families of the American service men and women who have died in Iraq because Hillary Clinton and other leaders did not speak out, donate to the Obama campaign today. Obama is reaching a million donations, help him get there, so that we can give our country a fresh start and a new humanistic direction for the 21st Century.

Posted by: maddymappo | February 21, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Cooke Co, IL to me

Posted by: peter.buchanan | February 21, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Not one vote for Obama in 27 Districts? This strains credulity. (Nemotoad, first to comment on this, makes an excellent point.) Yes, show me one other district in the entire country where there were no votes cast for Obama (and I'll show you fraud).

I voted for Obama in the 53rd Assembly District in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, and the initial reporting showed no votes for Obama in this district -- zero. This is in a neighborhood, mind you, where there are dozens of signs and street art that proclaim: "Bushwick=Obamawick".

What profound infamy is this? And why has the New York times dropped this story? They have made no mention of it in a week since Sam Roberts first broke the story (and he hasn't returned my phone call). And where is the rest of the national media on this one? What story is bigger? Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg and kudos to the Washington Post for keeping the story alive.

Posted by: AnthonyDeFrancisco | February 21, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that Bloomberd would call this fraud. He makes no bones about how much he hates Clinton.

The NYT reported on this several days ago and seems to have come to different conclusions than this reporter,

"City election officials said they were convinced that there was nothing sinister to account for the inaccurate initial counts, and The Times's review found a handful of election districts in the city where Mrs. Clinton received zero votes in the initial results."

This is just more WAPO crap!

Posted by: brigittepj | February 21, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Jesus, brings back memories of what happened to disadvantaged communities in Ohio during voting in the 2004 general election. I really hope they solve this problem.

I also worry about efforts to stifle the vote in Texas on March 4th. Democrats, hell, even independents and Republicans who regard the Constitution as a truly binding document should be concerned about those who are scared to death about an Obama candidacy. I hope to God there are no discrepancies in the Democratic vote.

Let's hope democracy works for all this time around. Perhaps by 2012 we can get rid of electronic voting machines altogether and reinstate the magnetic balloting system.

Posted by: cknudson | February 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Did I read this right?

"The Board of Elections has acknowledged that errors in reporting the election day tallies made it appear that Obama had received not a single vote in 55 election districts, when in reality his votes had simply not been counted, said Valerie Vazquez-Rivera, a spokeswoman for the board. In another 27 districts, Obama actually received no votes, she said."

So the total was 82 districts in New York where Obama did not receive a single vote - has there been ONE district ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY where Obama got NO votes?
And are they now claiming that 55 were mistakes, but there were 27 districts where he actually did not receive a single vote? That sounds like total B**LS**T to me. I like Obama's response (Whatever, we'll win anyway) but I want to know what the hell is going on in New York that somehow, an international phenomenon got not a single vote. I could go to New York and get One vote. Someone needs to dig on this. Whatever happened to Enterprise stories, or involved journalism? Track this down! This is your Job!

Seriously, just first check to see if there is anywhere else in the country, One single district even, that NOT ONE PERSON voted for Obama. I think you'd be hard pressed. Funny that 82 of them ended up in Clinton's adopted backyard.

Posted by: Nemotoad | February 21, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Yet another case of problems at the polls... when will it end? Where's the paper trail? How can anyone trust electronic voting machines without an actual piece of paper showing how the voter voted and having the voter take a look at it to verify their choice(s) before dropping it into a box?

Maybe we should all go with mail-in ballots like Oregon...

Posted by: ericp331 | February 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

One more thing; Boss Tweed Lives!

Posted by: jrev7620042000 | February 21, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow why the media is running around trying to manufacture stories on Michelle Obama and John McCain they are missing a big one in Sen. Clintons home state. Is there something wrong with that picture?

Posted by: scootab | February 21, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Along with delayed reporting and the impossibility of no votes in Harlem, I am concerned about Bloomberg wanted to have "professional" election staff. Does that mean privatize ? Could they be impartial government employees that are on the payroll for events that are once every 2 years ?

That is a problem but they cannot be private.

Posted by: labear | February 21, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Well blow me down. The fix is on.

Posted by: vance1 | February 21, 2008 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel delivers New York for the Clinton campaign.
That is Charlie and other interested business interests.

Posted by: paul94611 | February 21, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

It should be noted that the Obama campaign's response to this election day fraud, as Bloomberg so appropriately put it, was the classiest moment yet in this campaign. We can only imagine what the campaign would have done. No wait, we don't have to imagine. We saw a glimpse of it in Nevada when they launched a legal battle to change the voting rules, and when Bill and Chelsea Clinton preemptively leveled charged of voter intimidation - in a contest they won!

Thankfully, the Obama campaign has class and self-restraint. The Clintons should take note.

Posted by: maq1 | February 21, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

You would think a person like myself living in Chicago wouldn't be surprised and disturbed by mis-counted or missing ballots. After all, the dead got up to vote in the 1960 General Election. I might have just made three at the time. But votes are under-counted NY City, in the state of NY where Hillary is Senator. That's all we need, more zealots in the polling place. At least that's my belief. I hope that Hillary didn't orchestrate this herself. It's bad enough that she criticizes Obama every chance she gets. And it has backfired! Let's see what the vote count will be next week; a few more delegates for Obama wouldn't hurt at all.

Posted by: jrev7620042000 | February 21, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

god...when will she just go away? if the tables were turned and obama had lost 10 consecutive states, she would be considered the nominee. this is RIDICULOUS. she should be an afterthought by now. i hope the "miscounted" votes swing in his favour.

Posted by: caligirl1 | February 20, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

There have been allegations made online that at least one Clinton supporter took boxes of voter ballots home with him on the night of the New Mexico primary and that he kept them there for days.

Why am I not surprised by ANY of this stuff?

Because the Clintons are involved so it's pretty darn INEVITABLE.

Posted by: miraclestudies | February 20, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"The board wants to put the counting into the hands of private companies" what is wrong with citizens, don't they know how to count?
Give us back our democracy.
And does anybody know of final results in New Hampshire?


Posted by: cgavignet | February 20, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"It is common for cities and states to take weeks to officialize their results."
In developing countries, not in strong democracies.
When will the candidates adress this problem?

Posted by: cgavignet | February 20, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

not one vote for Obama in Harlem?

Sure, that sounds reasonable,

NOT !

Gosh, the Clintons are such sleezes!

Wisconsin cinched it...Obama has already won the nomination. It's over.
(guess Hillary & Bill are last to know)

...and in Nov., against McCain, He'll win...so:

OBAMA IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT


Posted by: kevinlarmee | February 20, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Someone has purposefully tried to spin the Michelle Obama speech in a negative way. Check out the two links below where the first link is the original video of the speech and then compare it to the one below which is what FOX and the Associated Press used. Watch her lips and listen to the video. The word "really" has clearly been edited out by someone on purpose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffGpYcTu5GI

Video that has been edited where the word "really" was edited out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyZGaeUZkAM

This constitutes fraud on the part of the networks and should be investigated.

The Obama's clearly have a case for a lawsuit against whomever is trying to perpetrate this fraud against the Obama's.

Posted by: ezne1son | February 20, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Vote fraud in Senator Clinton's state. This will shock no one...

ObamaforUSPresident.com

Posted by: tc1123 | February 20, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

A very sad news for politics in America.

Go Obama

Posted by: dlord04 | February 20, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

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