Passaic County assignment judge Ernest Caposela ordered a recount in the hotly contested 3rd Ward race on Monday morning.
Recount is scheduled to take place on December 15 at the Passaic County Community College auditorium. McKoy had wanted the recount completed in November. New Jersey deputy attorney general Eric Reid argued a recount couldn’t be completed before mid-December because of the required election audits.
Former councilman Alex Mendez won the 3rd Ward election by nine votes. Former councilman William McKoy has argued there have been tabulation errors in the count. Mendez received 3,769 and McKoy received 3,760 votes in the five-person race held on November 3, a do-over of the May election, according to official Passaic County results.
Mendez was sworn in last week. He said he is not worried about the recount. He is likely to end up with a larger tally, he said.
Caposela said people from both sides will be allowed to observe the recount. He said they will have to keep a “reasonable distance” during the recount.
McKoy’s attorney Scott Salmon argued to waive the recount fees. Candidate seeking a recount has to pay $25 per a district. McKoy would have to pay $325 for recounts in the 13 districts.
“There’s very little harm to petitioner to put that amount of money down. It really doesn’t begin to cover the costs of a recount,” said Reid. He said ballots will have to be counted by hand. “It’s going to take a lot of time, and it’s going to cost a lot to get this done.”
Caposela said he is looking at the fees from a “fundamental fairness and equity” point of view. He waived the fees for McKoy.
McKoy could end up contesting the election in court after the recount.
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