The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that in a recent internal Democratic Party vote, more people voted that the number eligible to vote, and Ari Kagan, the Democratic Party District Leader for Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and Midwood, is at the center of the storm for submitting twice as many votes as exist.
According to the report, “The Brooklyn Democratic Party’s first ever virtual full membership meeting went off the rails Wednesday, with party bigs miscounting votes and members pushing them for more transparency.”
“We just had 102 percent turnout,” declared the former Greenpoint District Leader Nick Rizzo. Mariana Alexander, the President of the New Kings Democrats, counted 2,205 votes, which is 26 votes more than the actual membership of 2,179.
“We are the laughing stock of this entire city,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila of Bushwick.
The most egregious violation seems to have come from Ari Kagan who is reported to have submitted almost 80 proxies — more than twice the amount of proxy votes available in his district.
“Given that discrepancy, we can’t move forward until the vote is audited, otherwise all future votes can’t be trusted,” said Boerum Hill District Leader Jesse Pierce.
In the coming year, Mr. Kagan will be a candidate for City Council District 47. He previously ran for Assembly-46, losing to Alec Brook-Krasny. He then lost to Chaim Deutsch in Council-48, which largely overlaps with the district Kagan represents as a Democratic Party District Leader. Kagan spent the last few years trying to run for Council-48, but made no headway among the Orthodox Jews, deciding eventually to run in the neighboring Council-47 that includes Coney Island, Warbasse, Seagate, Bath Beach, Gravesend.
Kagan will again face Alec Brook-Krasny in 2021, as well as first time candidate Steven Patzer.
UPDATE: We discussed this matter with Democratic Party sources, and they believe that the reason for Kagan’s count being at 80 was a counting error rather than his purposeful attempt to cheat. Since we were not present at the meeting, we do not know if our sources or the Brooklyn Paper are accurate. However, we do believe that there is serious doubt that Mr. Kagan did anything purposely wrong.
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