Former councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, who lost by eight votes in the 2nd Ward race this month, filed for a recount on Wednesday.
Incumbent Shahin Khalique received 1,729 votes while Akhtaruzzaman received 1,721 in the three-person race, according to unofficial election results.
Akhtaruzzaman’s complaint alleges errors in counting of the votes. 20 percent of votes were rejected by the Board of Elections, states the lawsuit. His lawsuit says, “significant number of ballots were unlawfully obtained and/or harvested.”
The May 12 election was conducted solely through mail-in ballots, resulting in people allegedly collecting ballots. A video appeared on social made that showed a Khalique supporter in his vehicle with a stack of ballots.
Khalique and Akhtaruzzaman were involved in a protracted lawsuit four years ago over the outcome of the 2016 race. Khalique ultimately prevailed in that case.
Both state and federal law enforcement agencies are investigating allegations of voter fraud in the recent Paterson elections.
Akhtaruzzaman is the third candidate in the six ward races to file for a recount. School board member Nakima Redmon, who lost in the 2nd Ward, filed for a recount on Tuesday.
Incumbent William McKoy filed for a recount in the 3rd Ward last week. McKoy, a five-term councilman, lost to ex-councilman Alex Mendez by 245 votes.
Attorney Scott Salmon is representing all three candidates seeking a recount.
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Updated at 7:27 p.m.