Huffpost New York
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Franklin Garcia Headshot

National Group and Community Leaders Call on U.S. Dept. of Justice to Step in NY 13th Congressional District Election

Posted: Updated:

The Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) is joining other organizations and community leaders across the nation calling on


the United States Department of Justice to step in the New York 13th
Congressional District election.
  This after the New York Supreme
Court has decided to hear a case involving voter irregularity in the June 26th
New York primary election.  Specifically, the Adriano Espaillat campaign has
filed a court case against the New York Board of Elections involving potential
voter fraud, and voter suppression in the Primary race for the New York 13th
Congressional District that took place on June 26th. 

The election contest between New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and veteran Congressman Charles Rangel many thought was decided on Tuesday night, when with over 80% of the votes tallied, the State Senator conceded to Mr. Rangel, when it appeared to be clear that the gap between the two made it safe to call off the race.  But as the days went by and the Espaillat campaign noticed that key precincts that favored the State Senator were not being counted, they began to question the results from Tuesday night.  As the campaign made calls for a transparent process, they saw the difference in the gap dwindled down, going from a deficit of 6,000 votes that favored Rangel on Tuesday night, to the latest New York Board of Elections unofficial results, put out 5 days after the election took place, of 802 votes, that still favors Mr. Rangel.  About 2000 absentee ballots are left to count.  The New York Board of Elections says it will count the absentee ballots on Thursday, July 5th. 

In the meantime, the Espaillat campaign is looking for answers and has taken the New York Board of Elections to the New York Supreme Court.  The New York Board of Elections will need to answer key questions related to the vote count that took nearly five days with a relatively low voter turnout of about 40,000 votes

Tuesday's election primary was one of the toughest election for embattled Congressman Rangel.  The 82-year-old incumbent is the third-longest- serving member of Congress.  He was first elected in 1971 and has served 21 terms in the U.S. Congress.  He faced a number of challenges going into the June 26th primary, including recent charges of ethical transgressions, poor health, and a redrawn Congressional District that now is made up of over 55 percent Latino voters, many of which are Dominican Americans.  Mr. Rangel faced 4 challengers, including his biggest thread, Dominican-American New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat. Mr. Espaillat made history in 1996 by becoming the first Dominican-American elected to the New York State Assembly.  There are currently 26 Latino members of the U.S. Congress, most of Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban decent.  If elected, Adriano Espaillat would have been the first Latino member of Congress of Dominican Decent.