Approximately 20 percent of mail-in ballots sent in by voters in New York City were not counted, according to new certified election results.
Some 318,995 mail-in ballots were counted in the June 23 Democratic presidential primary, the city Board of Elections said in the new certification.
Approximately 414,582 voters in New York City voted by absentee ballot in the primary, Robert Brehm, the co-executive director of the state’s Board of Elections, said in court last month.
That means more than one in five ballots were rejected for one reason or another.
“Wow. Over 84,000 New Yorkers did not have their voices heard in the June 23rd primary—many due to no fault of their own,” Suraj Patel, a candidate for New York’s 12 Congressional District, said in a social media statement.
The issues stemmed in part from more than 10 times the number of absentee ballots being used than in a normal year after Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated in June that any voter who wanted to could vote by mail.
U.S. Postal Service workers struggled to handle the volume and failed to properly process some ballots.
Others were rejected because they were incomplete or lacked a valid postmark or signature. In one district in Brooklyn, according to court filings, 1,135 of the 8,285 absentee ballots received by the board of elections in the week leading up to the primary lacked a postmark and were ruled invalid by election officials.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Nadine Torres ruled on Monday that the state Board of Elections must direct all local boards of elections to count valid absentee ballots.
Citing testimony by Douglas Kellner, another state commissioner, the judge said state and city election officials set up “a voting process where arbitrary factors lead the state to valuing one person’s vote over that of another—the kind of process specifically prohibited by the Supreme Court.”
The state Board of Elections is appealing the decision.
“Given the totality of the circumstances here, we un….