Turn Of Events: Katz-Caban Race For Queens District Attorney Too Close To Call; Recount Underway

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Things have taken a dramatic turn in the Queens District Attorney Democratic Primary race between Tiffany Caban and Melinda Katz.

After it looked like Caban won on election night, her 1,100 vote lead vanished last Wednesday after 3,400 absentee ballots pushed Katz ahead by a mere 16 votes.

Katz declared victory that night, but Caban did not concede.

Under New York City Board of Elections policy, a recount is mandatory when the victory margin is under 0.5 percentage point.

With Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Queens, the winner of the Democratic primary is expected to easily defeat a Republican opponent in November’s national election.

The manual recount is expected to officially start on Wednesday, July 10th. While the camps for Melinda Katz and Tiffany Caban have been battling out over the count, they are agreeing that every valid vote should be counted. Board of Elections reps said that the recount could take a minimum of 10 days with elections workers tallying ballots for eight to 10 hours a day, six days a week.

The tight margin also sparked accusations that election officials improperly dismissed more than 2,000 affidavit ballots before the paper ballots were counted.

Speaking to NY1 on Thursday, Katz said she remains confident she will become the next DA of Queens.

She said her supporters trust her to lead the borough, reform the criminal justice system while keeping families safe and tackle issues like gun control.

Speaking about the recount, Katz called for patience and said every vote must be counted.

“We said from the Primary Day on June 25th that every vote needs to be counted, that everyone has a voice in this borough and that it was important that there be an accurate count. So I was pretty confident that we would pull ahead, I’m glad that we are here today, I know it’s 20 votes, the recount will count every single vote in the borough once again, as it should be,” Katz said.

Caban’s campaign says they remain confident she will prevail when all votes are counted.

In a statement they said, “Our campaign, and all of Queens, is up against a party machine that has ruled local politics and suppressed democracy for decades. Our communities are calling for a criminal justice system that ends mass incarceration, uplifts our black and brown communities, and decriminalizes poverty—rather than protecting the powerful. I am humbled every day by the volunteer effort we have built in this campaign. We are still fighting to make sure every valid ballot is counted. We are confident that if that happens, we will be victorious.”