Tomorrow is the official count of absentee ballots and nobody is more excited than Martha Flores Vazquez who is anticipating a victory for the District Leader post in AD 40 Part B located in Flushing.
While Vazquez lost her bid for Grace Meng’s vacated Assembly seat with just 521 votes, hope is not lost for the longtime community service advocate whose name appeared on the ballot for two different offices.
Unofficial results were not available to the public according to the BOE and will not be made available until next week however, unofficial tallies indicate with 862 votes for the District Leader position, Vazquez could find the extra four votes she needs to win with 316 absentee ballots and 50 emergency ballots yet to be counted.
“I believe the absentees will go in my favor because of my name recognition,” said Vazquez. “In the meantime, I’ve jumped right back on track with working and dealing with the issues. I’m dedicating myself to the community because for the past two years the District Leader has been absent…she’s just a district leader by title and people don’t like that, the people are upset because she doesn’t do any outreach. She doesn’t do anything.”
Ironically, Vazquez said she was already sent a letter requesting her presence to a special meeting hosted by the Democratic Party normally reserved for elected officials.
On Primary Day voters may have been confused. Vazquez made it on the ballot for both Assembly and District Leader slots, which she believes confused voters as to which office they were actually voting her in for. The total of her votes for both Assembly and District Leader surpass those of the winning Assembly candidate Ron Kim, a sort of a feather in her cap.
While the election has yet to be certified, Vazquez remains confident.
“Technicality she [Vazquez] got more votes than every candidate that ran and a lot were not duplicates – they voted for one or the other,” according to a source familiar with the situation.
Yet low turnout still defined the races in AD 40. According to Vazquez, there was confusion and irregularities at the poll sites that may have contributed to the low turnout.
“A lot of people didn’t want to go to their new poll site and names weren’t found in the book, but I made it a point during my campaign to inform people of their new poll site to the best of my ability even though we didn’t get the new list until 4 days before the election.”
Throughout the campaign Vazquez worked with community residents whom would not be able to make it to the polls with a strong absentee ballot drive and many of the absentees informed Vazquez that they voted for her.
“In the future I will do voter education for people to understand and I wont make that mistake again and will be picking one office instead of two.”