Primary Update: Absentee Ballots, MV Forward Team Files Lawsuit, Council Race Could Be Decided This Weekend

Mount Vernon Forward team, Danielle Brown, Cathlin Gleason and Ed Poteat with Campaign Manager Joseph Fordyce Jr,. (left) [Black Westchester}

The Mount Vernon Forward team announce they filed a lawsuit Friday, June 25th to preserve the integrity of the vote via a statement on Facebook, Tuesday afternoon;

After last week’s stirring victory for the Mount Vernon Forward movement, our legal team filed suit to preserve the rights of our candidates and the Democratic voters of Mount Vernon. We are thrilled that Tyrae Woodson-Samuels will continue to serve as our County Legislator and that Darren Morton will be our Comptroller. We are confident that Danielle Browne and Ed Poteat will be taking seats on the City Council, and that Cathlin Gleason’s lead in the tight race for the final Council seat will be preserved. To that end, we seek to protect the rights of our seniors, the many first time voters, and the young Democratic voters inspired by our message of change in Mount Vernon. While we do not expect to find wrongdoing or fraud, we brought our case out of an excess of caution, to preserve the ballots and ensure that unintended errors are not made, and so that the will of Mount Vernon voters is fully protected. Every vote must be accurately counted. And no matter the final results, our team is committed to working together with everyone in our community to move Mount Vernon Forward.

So here is what we know so far, Danielle Browne is the number one vote getter with 2,192 votes in the Mount Vernon City Council race there are not enough absentee ballots for anyone to catch her and her spot is secure. But despite the confidence displayed in the statement the race beyond that is too close to call.

Andre Wallace and Janice Duarte at Wallace Golf Outing fundraiser at Hampshire Country Club, July 2015 [Black Westchester]

André Wallace has 1,690 vote and is 16 votes behind Cathlin Gleason (1,706 votes) and 87 behind Ed Poteat (1,777). Councilwoman Janice Duarte who currently has 1,671 votes is 35 votes behind Gleason and is 106 votes behind Poteat. Despite the statement the last two seats can go to any of the four candidates, Poteat, Gleason, Wallace and Duarte. While I applaud the confidence of the Mount Vernon Forward team, these are the Snapple Facts by the numbers. While we are counting Councilwoman Delia Farquharson with 1,548 votes is 158 votes behind Gleason and with 245 absentee ballots received Councilwoman Farquharson cannot be counted out either for the matter.

Black Westchester obtained a copy of the lawsuit via  WebCivil Supreme – eFiled Documents Detail ( (see below).

Cathlin B Gleason Et Al v Cathlin B Gleason Et Al PETITION 1 by BLACK WESTCHESTER on Scribd

The Westchester Board of Elections responded with the following letter, Tuesday, June 29th

Cathlin B Gleason Et Al v Cathlin B Gleason Et Al LETTER From BOE to Judge Opposing Motion by BLACK WESTCHESTER on Scribd

So when will we know who won. Tuesday, June 29th was the last day the Board of Elections could receive the Absentee ballots. The earliest the votes can be counted is Wednesday, June 30th but in all likelihood, after counting the County Clerk race – which is still too close to call and will be counted first – Black Westchester has been told that the counting of the ballots for the Mount Vernon City Council race may not begin until Thursday, July 1st at the earliest. So we may not know the final count until the weekend at the very earliest.

This is the midterm election for Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and the outcome will set the tone for the balance of her first term. Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.