The Green Party of New York said today thatit supported a full recount of the votes in the contested race for New York State Senate District 7. "The Green Party has always stood for the principle that every vote should be counted in an election. If the US is going to call itself a democracy, voters need to be confident that the person declared the winner actually received the most votes. It is one of the reasons we have supported the use of paper ballots. In light of the closeness of the vote and the fact that the accuracy of the new optical scan vote counting system has not yet been fully tested, we believe that is in the public interest to have at least one election in the state where a full hand count is done of all ballots. The 7th Senate District appears to be ideal case and we join with groups like Common Cause in urging the Court of Appeals to support a full vote recount," said Howie Hawkins, co-chair of the State party.
Republican Jack Martins has a 415 vote lead of incumbent Craig Johnson, with 81,667 votes counted in the machine tally. Of the seven machines audited in this particular race, three had errors –a machine error rate of 43%. Johnson's petition for a full recount was recently rejected by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for Governor, said that he was suspicious how after the NYC Board of Elections reported they had "lost" 200,000 votes on election night, their "final" recount of the machines plus the addition of all the paper ballots concluded that the Greens had gained only 395 votes from the election night tally (even though no paper ballots were counted on election night). The gain of votes was only 0.2% of the 195,055 "found" votes, compared to the percentages reported for the Green Party on election night (Queens: 0.7%, Brooklyn: 1.0%, Staten Island: 0.6%, Manhattan: 1.2%, Bronx: 0.5%). The Greens actually "lost" votes in Brooklyn and Bronx.
"We find it strange that while the basis of representative government is accurate counting of votes, NY election officials often try to block full recounts as being too costly or time-consuming. Getting the results right is far more important than speed or cost and crucial to the integrity of any democracy. While American politicians do not hesitate to question the results of an election in another country where the government refuses to count the votes, here it is seen as an inconvenience. It is time to end that hypocrisy and solidify full, transparent vote-counting in all elections," added Peter LaVenia, the other party co-chair.