“The Queens D.A. Race Has a Winner. Here’s Why It’s Still Not Over.”


The New York City Board of Elections on Monday certified Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president, as the winner of the June 25 Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, the culmination of a 34-day election battle that was one of the closest and most bitter in recent New York City history.

But the board’s certification does not end the contest: One of Ms. Katz’s opponents, Tiffany Cabán, has already filed a lawsuit challenging the results, which have her losing to Ms. Katz by a mere 60 votes.

Nor does it end the identity crisis that the race represented for the Democratic Party. Supporters of both campaigns have cast the outcome as a verdict on the future of the left, with backers of Ms. Cabán, a former public defender and democratic socialist, describing her candidacy as a rebuke to machine politics, and supporters of Ms. Katz, the favored candidate of top Democratic leaders, accusing the other side of aggravating the party’s polarization….

The recount process itself was painstaking and dull. But it unfolded against a backdrop of mistrust and mutual recrimination, as Ms. Cabán’s supporters hurled accusations of voter fraud and suppression. Ms. Katz’s supporters — including prominent elected officials such as Representative Gregory Meeks — suggested that Ms. Cabán’s backers were gentrifiers inconsiderate of nonwhite voters, many of whom supported Ms. Katz. (Ms. Katz is white, and Ms. Cabán is Latina.)
Ms. Cabán’s supporters have already pointed to the looming court battle, when Ms. Cabán’s lawyers plan to argue that elections officials improperly discarded dozens of ballots — more than enough to flip the election yet again if reinstated.

Many of those ballots were invalidated for technical reasons, such as an eligible Democratic voter showing up to the wrong polling site, or not writing “Democrat” on the ballot. Poll workers are responsible for ensuring that voters fill out affidavit ballots correctly, said Jerry Goldfeder, a lawyer for Ms. Cabán.

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