NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Board of Elections says there are 78,000 paper ballots across the five boroughs that still need to be counted from Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Bipartisan teams across the city are unsealing and opening more than 5,000 lever voting machines Friday. BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan said the process is expected to wrap up by Sunday.
“There’s always the potential for human error and that’s why New York has one of the most extensive recanvassing procedures in the country, to make sure that every vote is counted and every vote is counted accurate,” Ryan said.
Bill de Blasio has slightly more than the 40 percent of the vote needed to avoid an Oct. 1 runoff. If de Blasio dips under 40 percent, he’ll face runner-up Bill Thompson. The outstanding ballots make up more than 11 percent of votes cast.
The winner will then take on Republican candidate Joe Lhota.
But several leaders are calling for Thompson to bow out now.
Five state Assembly members and three city councilmen switched from Thompson to de Blasio on Thursday. Others previously backed City Council Christine Quinn, who lost in Tuesday’s primary.
“To all of those who join us today, I say I am thrilled to have the reinforcements around that will make this a winning campaign,” de Blasio told supporters at a rally on Thursday.
Thompson has said he’ll stay in the race.
“I want to make sure that every voice is heard, that every vote is counted. Why? because that’s why you run a race,” he said. “That’s why we’re out here because you want to make sure that every vote is counted.”
If Thompson bows out by midnight Friday, his name would not appear on the ballot for the runoff even if the final count gives de Blasio less than 40 percent, according to the city Board of Elections.
In an ironic twist, that provision of election law is dubbed the Weiner Rule, after disgraced mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner who, in 2005, conceded the Democratic primary after finishing in second-place to former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who finished the primary with around 40 percent.
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