A New York lawmaker who is seeking to replace a retiring Congress member refused to concede defeat on Thursday, claiming the Democratic primary election was impeded by "intentional black voter suppression."
Assemblyman Michael Blake, an African-American candidate, finished second behind New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres in the 15th Congressional District's in-person ballot count on Tuesday. Torres is also African-American.
In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, Blake cited several examples of "voter suppression, intimidation, and delays" that he claims cost him the primary.
Blake claimed a polling site in the predominantly black Concourse Village neighborhood was relocated to a new site without explanation. He said the site's movement forced "elderly voters to walk 11 blocks away, putting their health at risk."
He also said another polling site "in the heart of a black neighborhood" didn't open as scheduled and that a high number of affidavit ballots at a third site might not have been counted due to a dispute with voter registration.
"Intentional black voter suppression and undemocratic processes clearly don't just happen in the South but also in the South Bronx," Blake wrote. "These incidents, among others, are too pervasive to be a coincidence. They are a concerted effort to suppress the Black vote."