Voters in Paterson cast 9,884 ballots in the six City Council ward elections as of Sunday night, according to Passaic County election data.
The biggest turnouts so far are in the hotly contested 2nd and 3rd Ward races. 3,496 people voted in the 2nd Ward while 2,627 voted in the 3rd Ward.
Incumbent councilman Shahin Khalique and former councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, both known for running sophisticated vote-by-mail operations, are aggressively campaigning to get out the vote.
Both men have teams that continue to knock on doors to encourage people to vote despite the coronavirus pandemic that forced governor Phil Murphy to order the elections be conducted solely through vote-by-mail ballots, according to sources.
Khalique ousted Akhtaruzzaman in 2016.
Incumbent councilman William McKoy, who is running for a sixth term on the City Council, is trying to fend off a challenge from former councilman Alex Mendez, a longtime rival.
Mendez came close to beating McKoy in 2012. He fell short by fewer than 100 votes. He is hoping for a better outcome in 2020.
The 3rd Ward race has exceeded the turnout number from four years ago. 2,606 people voted in 2016. So far, 2,627 voted in 2020. That number is expected to increase even more. Two more days of voting remains in the election.
Turnouts so far have been lackluster in the 4th and 5th Ward races.
Incumbent Al Abdelaziz is running unopposed in the 6th Ward. He presumably secured more than 600 votes.
Political strategists are divided on whether the solely vote-by-mail election will result in a higher voter turnout in the minority-majority city.
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