There are political rumblings in the gritty but beautiful Brooklyn. After a slim win—but a win all the same—Robert E. Cornegy was set to become the city councilman for the 36th District, a post vacated by the esteemed and longstanding local politician Albert Vann. His opponent is Kirsten John Foy, who refuses to allow a hundred vote deficit deter him from fighting for the job as councilman for the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Foy, a community activist largely known for previously working under the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, is also a former assistant to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

The primaries were three weeks ago, and the general election is just over a month away.

This unresolved race has become the closest and most contested race in all the city’s council races. The hotly contested race included the Revs. Conrad Tillard and Robert Waterman, Access-A-Ride driver Akiel Taylor and Bed-Stuy business owner Reginald Swiney.

“Voters of the 36th Council District have been eagerly awaiting final results from the Sept. 10 primary election, and it is unfortunate that we all have to wait just a little bit longer,” stated Cornegy. “That said, our election policy is clear and exists to protect everyone’s vote. I want to thank all voters of the district for their participation and ask them to practice patience while we await the final count. I am confident that I will still prevail as the Democratic nominee, but in the end, the real winner is every voter, made possible by the Board of Elections’ efforts to ensure that every vote is counted. When results are certified, it is important for all my opponents to come together as Democrats and support our party’s full state of candidates running in the general election.”

Cornegy and his supporters have already queried a number of inconsistencies and what they call a major push from outside forces; for weeks, Cornegy has slammed Foy, accusing him of being swamped by outside money from super PAC Jobs for America and Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

Altogether, elder statesman Vann has served as Bed-Stuy’s assemblyman and City Council member for over 30 years (27 years in the Assembly and almost 12 years in the City Council). He has endorsed Cornegy, and when he spoke to the Amsterdam News, he pulled no punches.

“I want to commend Robert Cornegy and his campaign and the residents of Bed-Stuy for really weathering a perfect storm: all the resources that came in, the money, the manpower, the outside interests that were poured in and tried to determine leadership of the 36th District. Outside resources came from groups like REBNY, Jobs for New York, some main labor unions, the National Action Network and the Working Families Party. But we have a well-informed community that knows how to protect its interest.”

Vann continued, “When the difference in the votes is less than half of 1 percent, the Board of Elections is required to manually recount the previously counted paper ballots—that is, emergency, affidavit and absentee ballots. But usually 99 percent of the time, they substantiate the original count. It is highly unlikely that there’ll be a change. Robert Cornegy is in the lead, and this is a tremendous victory for the 36th District. Robert Cornegy will be the presumed councilman elect.”

Foy told the AmNews that over the weekend, the counting of the lever machines and some paper ballots cut Cornegy’s lead over him from 94 votes to 90 votes, according to the Board of Elections.

At the crux of this ongoing fight happening in the street-level political theater is Foy’s consternation that the board has thrown out over 1,000 votes. With almost 14,000 votes cast, Foy’s campaign is demanding that 1,000 paper ballots disqualified by the board be counted.

“We win on paper, but we lose with the machines,” Foy told the AmNews. “We want all the votes counted. The Board of Elections invalidated 1,000 ballots—so, in their mind, they are illegitimate—but we want them to be validated.” Foy’s team notes that some of these votes were from Democratic-registered voters who wrote their name, address and votes correctly, but failed to write their Democratic enrollment out on the affidavit form separate from the actual ballot. The Foy team contends that the board knows a voter’s party enrollment and the voters appropriately voted in the correct primary. Also, according to Foy’s campaign team, some of these votes were from voters who voted at the wrong polling place but in the right council district and assembly district after a redistricting year. Voters have expressed that the board failed to adequately notify people of changes to their polling place or provide those directions when they arrived at the wrong polling site.

“There have been inconsistencies with the board throwing out and counting the votes of voters who made the same mistake on an affidavit form,” said Mandela Jones from the Foy campaign. “The board has never given the campaign a total count of the amount of paper ballots by which to hold them accountable for; therefore, the campaign has been forced to rely on just whatever the board has given it.”

The ongoing struggle is to represent Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. “As far as I know, a win is a win—and we won,” Cornegy told the AmNews in his campaign office.

There was talk of going to court. Foy’s campaign said they have to view all the irregularities before any legal actions can be decided.

“Any declaration of victory or political posturing by Mr. Cornegy is not only premature and irresponsible, but highly inappropriate and disrespectful to voters and the democratic process,” Foy said in a statement.

Foy said that originally, the board said that they could not find his paper ballot, or that of his wife, so they were forced to fill in paper ballots. The board eventually found their ballots.

The Board of Elections did not respond to an AmNews request for comment.

According to both camps, this conflict could go on for days—if not weeks—before a decision is made or the all the paper ballots are finally counted.

“The administration of this process by the Board of Elections in such a close race—twice losing the ballots of the candidate and his wife and the discovery of new voting machines, among other irregularities—has given us substantial reasons to review all irregularities before making any decision,” said Tyquana Henderson-Parsons, campaign manager for Kirsten John Foy’s campaign. “What is clear is that the more paper ballots that were counted, the more votes Kirsten John Foy received towards further narrowing the margin. In aiming to protect the sanctity of the vote and ensure all voters’ voices are heard, we are examining the various irregularities that occurred on Election Day and over the past several days at the Board of Elections, and why over 1,000 absentee and affidavit votes have been thrown out in this race.”

Foy’s campaign noted that the board’s count of the voting machines yielded a margin of 105 votes, but when absentee and affidavit votes were counted, the margin narrowed to 68. As per the Board of Elections on Monday, Sept. 23, the total count of votes for the two candidates was 4,367 for Cornegy to 4,299 for Foy.

But team Foy stated, “Last Thursday, the Board of Elections indicated it had found more paper ballots in this race, a day after it had communicated to the campaign that all the paper ballots had been counted.”

This is the Board of Elections which, last week, apparently lost the ballots of the candidate and his wife for the second time. The campaign’s lawyers took action to have the ballots found, said Mandela Jones.

Last Tuesday, a machine that had allegedly been recanvassed by both the board and the campaign and had returned the same results numerous times, mysteriously turned up higher counts of votes for the first time, despite the board indicating its recanvassing of voting machines was completed on Monday. This machine also only included votes for the City Council candidates—not mayoral candidates or candidates in any other race. It is highly abnormal that voters would pull the lever only for Council candidates and not those higher up on the ballot; drop-off typically occurs the other way around.”

Cornegy is the elected district leader of Brooklyn’s 56th Assembly District and current president of VIDA, Bed-Stuy’s long-standing democratic club. He told the AmNews, “This race was supposed to be certified today [Tuesday, Sept. 24]. We are supposed to be celebrating, but they are trying to steal the election, and so it is going take another two weeks. There has to be some sort of legal recourse. I am fighting for my political life right now, but we are confident that we will emerge victorious after this process takes place.”