Montclair mayoral candidate Renee Baskerville filed a challenge to the May 12th election results.
The candidate received 5,250 votes or 48.85% ofthe votes cast, to 5,445 votes or 50.66% of votes cast for cerified winner Sean Spiller.
More votes than the 195 vote margin separating the two, remain uncounted, Baskerville notes in her challenge.
“In this ease, the balance of equities overwhelmingly favors plaintiffs. As has been demonstrated, law abiding, actively engaged voters in the Township must be given the benefit of the doubt when “stuff happens,” e.g., the Post Office fails to put a postmark on a batch of ballots filed toward the end of the filing period, presumed to have been timely filed; the Pose Office closes four hours early because of insufficient staff the day before the final balloting at a time when it publicly noted its inability to meet normal service delivery requirements for the type of mail involved in this case (2-5 days); and when for some inexplicable reason, amid COVID-19, the most extraordinary public health and economic circumstances in our lives resulted in the State postponing every election in the Months of March, April and June, but not the May 12th election.
“This trial balloon illustrated many shortcomings of the broad-scale mail-in gffly balloting compromised the franchise of more than a few Montclairions who wanted to exercise the franchise badly enough to go to great lengths to protect themselves, their families and neighbors badly enough to complete and timely post their ballots, only to have more than a few returned as late as the date of this filing, notifying seasoned voters that their ballots were being returned because of questions about their signature. The New Jersey Legislature did not intend for its statutes to be applied in a manner that would prevent otherwise valid mail-in ballots from being counted. This Honorable Court is vested with certain inherent powers beyond those conferred upon it by N.J. S.A 19:29-I, et seq.
“And it must set aside any legal but inequitable action suggested by a statute or Executive Order, if as in this case, the outcome to do otherwise will be to cause irreparable—the most aggreges harm that can be visited upon a citizen in our participatory democracy, is to trammel the right to vote: to take action which is illegal or inequitable in order to carry out the will and mandate of the people.”