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NY: Appellate judges deny Johnson-Martin recount (Bush v. Gore revisited) [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-10 02:00 AM
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NY: Appellate judges deny Johnson-Martin recount (Bush v. Gore revisited)
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Appellate judges deny Johnson-Martin recount

December 15, 2010 10:17 PM By DAN JANISON

How sure can you be that your vote will count?

That was the most meaningful question raised Wednesday as lawyers and judges tangled over whether there must be a manual recount in the 7th Senate District - the last potential obstacle toward a GOP Senate majority.

But by Wednesday night, all four appellate judges - two Democrats and two Republicans - who heard the case had upheld the Dec. 4 ruling of State Supreme Court Justice Ira Warshawsky that a manual process wasn't required under the laws of our new voting system.


The panel paved the way for a further appeal by Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) - declared the loser by 451 votes - to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. But it wasn't immediately clear whether Johnson will do so or finally concede to Mineola's GOP Mayor Jack Martins.


Wednesday's court session covered such workaday matters as what distinguishes an "audit" from a "canvass," whether or when a court may or must overrule an election board, and the mathematical possibility that the result here could change with further counting.

In a friend-of-the-court filing, Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group, had come out on the side of ordering a recount, to assure the voters that their verdict would be shielded from possible machine errors. "There are quite a number of examples in which a voting machine malfunction caused a candidate to receive the wrong number of votes," the group's missive said.


For his part, Stephen Schlesinger, lawyer for Nassau Democrats, Wednesday opened the court session in Brooklyn by ironically quoting Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as saying those who vote decide nothing but those who count votes decide everything.

Appellate Division Judge John M. Leventhal, first on a four-member panel to quiz Schlesinger, made clear his own lack of immediate interest in historic quips. Leventhal delved instantly into the here and now.


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