No 2nd Ward Results Until Nov. 19th | Paterson Times

No 2nd Ward Results Until Nov. 19th


The vicious 2nd ward council special election results will not be in until the week of November, 19th, 2012. All the ballots that were cast at the polling sites on November 6th have been counted, and the result gave Sonia Torres a lead, but the absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

The Record, a large newspaper based in Woodland Park, has declared Sonia Torres as the winner of the 2nd ward special election only to later post another article that said, “uncounted votes may overturn [the] result.” It is rather disturbing for a newspaper of that size to make such a blunder by laying too much credence on uncertified results.

During the May 2012 election the absentee ballots played a crucial role in determining the election winner. Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman had more than 300 mail-in votes while the other candidates had meager 15 to 20 absentee ballots (some had a little more).

Mr Akhtaruzzaman uses absentee ballots as a form of political strategy as was noted by our colleague at another paper; he sees these votes as secure, in other words, he attempts to win the election using absentee ballots before the actual polling even starts. It is good political play on the part of Mr Akhtaruzzaman.

Some speculated the divided Bangladeshi community, with 3 candidates, would fail to rally behind Mr Akhtaruzzaman, and that was partially true, but not fully; for the other candidates received lukewarm support from the community based on the votes.

The ousted councilman also seems to be popular with African-Americans, who in order to support Barack Obama, went to the polls in droves, and that could result in some provisional ballots.

Ms Torres had 1,251 votes after the November 6th count; Mr Akhtaruzzaman had 1,006; he needs only to replicate the same number of absentee ballots as May 2012 to clench the victory.