Chantel Jackson, Candidate for Assembly in the 79th Assembly District, unsuccessful in lawsuit bid seeking to impound all ballots, memory cards, and devices that record votes

Jackson’s Order to Show Cause and Verified Petition was declined today by Bronx Supreme Court Judge John W. Carter.

Chantel Jackson, candidate for Assembly in the 79th Assembly District, filed an Order To Show Cause and Verified Petition (Johnson v. Cox et al – Index No. 26558/2020E) on Monday, June 29, in Bronx Supreme Court to impound and secure all ballots, removable memory cards, sticks, or devices used to record votes. Jackson was concerned about possible tampering of the ballots.

Jackson’s request was declined today by Judge John W. Carter.

Chantel Jackson

The race is currently too close to call with over 3,168 mailed in absentee ballots to be counted. The vote totals according to the petition are:

Chantel Jackson — 2,222
Cynthia Cox — 1,982
George Alvarez — 1,493
Eric Stevenson — 1,103
Elvis Santana — 1,062
Dion Powell — 310

Ezra Glaser, Jackson’s attorney, states in the petition:
“This proceeding is brought pursuant to § 16-112 of the Election Law, to preserve and secure all ballots, absentee ballots, emergency ballots, affidavit ballots, military ballots, official tally sheets and returns of canvas sheets and removable memory cards, sticks, or devices used to record votes, and any certifications by such Board of Elections personnel in the special election and to further ensure that all voting machines are properly secured and sealed following the close of the polls.”

Glaser cites multiple deficiencies in the Board of Election’s process for counting the votes and managing the absentee ballot process. Read the Order To Show Cause, Verified Petition, and Affirmation In Support at the end of the article.

Michael Benjamin, a former Assemblyman for the 79th Assembly District who served honorably, commented on the litigation saying, “As a former Deputy Clerk at the Bronx BOE I can say without contradiction that an honest and fair recanvass will take place. The data sticks and paper ballots are secure. Every vote will be counted and no eligible Democratic voter in AD79 will be disenfranchised.”

Dion Powell, a Democratic Assembly candidate in the 79th Assembly District race and also the Conservative Party Assembly candidate in the general election, was named a respondent in the petition. The other respondents were the New York City Board of Elections; Dermot Shea, Police Commissioner, and the New York City Police Department; along with fellow candidates Cynthia Cox, Eric Stevenson, Elvis Santana, and George Alvarez.

Dion Powell

Powell commented on Jackson’s petition and today’s hearing saying, “it is horrible.” Powell continued, “I agree with numbers 17 on down with the Affirmation submitted. Which mostly alludes to Stanely Schlein as the Bronx county lawyer and District Leader Cynthia Cox compromising the absentee ballot counting process because they are both heavily involved with Bronx BOE because of said roles. . .They both can go into the Bronx Board of Elections to be involved with the process now where as no other candidates can observe until July 8th. Plus Cynthia Cox as a District Leader controls poll sites and poll workers. Stanley Schlein has also assisted with certain people getting jobs at the BOE and in the Bronx judicial system that regulates all things political in campaigns management with regards to laws, regulations, etc.”

The New York City Board of Elections will start counting absentee ballots on Staten Island on July 6. The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will begin counting their ballots on July 8.

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