Tonight it appears that Margaret Chin has eked out a narrow victory in the District 1 City Council race.
In this past Tuesday’s Democratic Primary, the two-term City Council member came in just 200 votes ahead of political newcomer Christopher Marte. Today the Board of Elections counted absentee and affidavit ballots. Both campaigns agree Chin picked up a small number of votes (anywhere between 6 and 26 votes depending on which side you believe). The board will likely not officially certify the results until next week; the BOE has not returned our emails and calls.
In the past week, Marte has talked about potential legal action to force a recount. His team has been looking at possible disenfranchisement of voters due to shifting locations of polling stations on election day. Tonight, Marte told The Lo-Down he’s consulting with his attorney about the next steps for the campaign. Marte said two other candidates, Aaron Foldenauer and Dashia Imperiale, also picked up some votes today.
The Board of Elections’ unofficial tally in District 1 has not changed since last Tuesday evening. It shows Chin with 5220 votes (45.77%) and Marte with 5020 votes (44.02%). The threshold for a recount is .05 of 1%.
The general election will be held Nov. 7. Foldenauer has vowed to run against Chin on the Liberal Party line.
We expect to have statements from both campaigns shortly.
UPDATE 8:42 p.m. Here’s a statement from Margaret Chin:
I am so grateful to everyone for their support. At its heart, this campaign has been about making our neighborhoods the best they possibly can be. It’s been about creating new homes for people in need while still preserving what makes those neighborhoods great. It’s about fostering hope rather than spreading fear. Together, we achieved an important victory – one that I hope will inspire more people to help their neighbors and get involved in the work to build stronger, more resilient communities.
UPDATE 9:43 p.m. Here’s a statement from the Marte campaign:
The Marte and Chin campaigns gathered today at the Board of Elections to count absentee and affidavit ballots. The final count, according to hand tallies from the campaign, resulted in a 207 vote lead by Chin. Christopher Marte and his team received broad support from affidavit voters, due to the abrupt poll site changes in his home neighborhood and the Two Bridges area. However absentee ballots, largely cast from nursing homes, went to Chin. This narrow margin still indicates the widespread dissatisfaction with the two-term Council member. The strong support for Marte came from neighborhoods who have most been affected by overdevelopment and displacement, such as the Two Bridges neighborhood and the Village. Marte has to meet with his legal team in order to discuss next steps, but he will continue to strengthen his coalition of supporters to bring positive and community-oriented change to the district.