Rangel opponent floats possibility of new election amid fraud claims

Claims of questionable ballots, missing precincts


Lawyers for New York Rep. Charlie Rangel's primary opponent have re-filed court papers challenging last week's election results -- and floating the possibility of holding the election all over again.

According to Ibrahim Khan, the spokesman for New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the new complaint seeks to have the ballots secured and a monitor appointed to oversee any possible recount, and opens a request to demand a new election if warranted.

The court document says Espaillat is, "requesting the court to rule on the validity of the casting or the canvassing, or refusal to cast or canvass any ballot set forth."   

As of now, Espaillat's team is not calling for a redo but wants to preserve that option.

Rangel holds a narrow lead of just 802 votes in the Democratic primary for New York's 13th congressional district -- 2,000 absentee and affidavit ballots are set to be counted on Thursday. Both sides are waiting for the final tally in a race marred by accusations from supporters of Rangel's challenger that there was widespread voter fraud and voter suppression aimed at Latino voters.

Meanwhile, Rangel sent out a fundraising email asking for donations "to prepare myself for another battle -- whether it's a legal battle with the Board of Elections or with my opponent."

Rangel wrote, "to my surprise, my opponent's campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I'm completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting."  

Rangel, who was first elected in 1970, declared victory in the Democratic primary for his 22nd term last week, despite redistricting and the shadow of his censure by the House in a tax and ethics scandal two years ago.

But Espaillat's supporters charge that votes were intentionally suppressed, not counted, and even tampered with. They are demanding that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder step in and launch a federal voter fraud investigation.

Espaillat's supporters told Fox News that some voters who speak Spanish were not allowed to vote on the machines but told they had to fill out affidavit paper ballots; that others were told their names did not appear on the voting lists; and that poll workers even allegedly tampered with completed paper ballots by opening the envelopes after they were cast.

The New York City Board of Elections did not respond with a statement regarding the allegations.

Rangel's campaign manager, Moises Perez, told Fox News that: "Our lawyers are responding to the opponent's moves, but we have no intention of filing anything in the courts. The opposing side (Espaillat's campaign) is acting within their constitutional right."

Perez would not comment on the allegations of voter suppression.

"We hope this process ends sooner, than later," Perez said.

If you suspect voter or problems at the polls where you live, tell us: Voterfraud@foxnews.com

Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter: @EricShawnTV