From the Times Ledger:
Despite the fact that two City Council candidates had each claimed victory in southeast Queens’ special election, by the next night the city Board of Elections had yet to count the votes on a missing memory stick, and it may be weeks before an official winner is declared.
By Wednesday night Donovan Richards had a 26-vote lead over Pesach Osina, according to the board’s preliminary results, with paper and absentee ballots yet to be counted, as well as the votes on a missing, mystery memory stick used in electronic voting machines.
Both Richards and Osina had already declared themselves the winner by the early hours Wednesday morning and did not lay off throughout the day. Richards said the missing votes would come in from outside Osina’s Orthodox Jewish community and tweeted that his closest opponent “ran a hell of a campaign.”
Osina released a statement saying he expected to be the winner when the votes were counted.
“I’m confident that when all the votes are final, we will be victorious!” he said.
According to election law, however, the board will not begin counting affidavits and absentee ballots until Wednesday, and with such a scant margin separating the top two candidates, next week’s results could trigger an automatic recount.
A spokeswoman at the BOE said that if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent, a manual recount is automatically triggered, a process that could take weeks.
Richards was leading Osina by 0.3 percent.