Unofficially beaten on Tuesday night by Alex Mendez, but seeking protection of the “sanctity of the ballot” in a cycle marred by numerous reported troubles, Councilman Bill McKoy moved ahead this afternoon with his petition for a recount in Paterson’s Second Ward, according to attorney Scott Salmon, who represents McKoy.
His reasoning mostly boiled down to the appearance of widespread voter fraud in the Paterson May 12th election, including ballot harvesting, Salmon told InsiderNJ, which sparked investigations in the city, according to published reports.
Team Mckoy is bothered in part by the fact that more than 25% of all votes cast in the Third Ward were disqualified, and as a consequence, filed for a recount.
On Tuesday night, McKoy lost to challenger former At-Large Councilman Mendez by an unofficial vote total of 1,30 to 1,595 (245 votes). But given reports of active investigations into bound ballots dumped in mailboxes and lingering questions about which ballots count and which didn’t, McKoy wants hard answers.
The veteran McKoy, in office for 20 years, is filing for his own individuated ward recount and not with those loosely affiliated allies from other wards, among them Moammed Akturazzuman, separated from winner Second Ward Councilman Shahin Khalique by eight votes.
McKoy notes in his petition filing that of 4,565 votes cast in the May 12th nonpartisan contest, the Passaic County Board of Elections counted 3,402.
Based on errors committed by the electors, he says, the incumbent councilman “has reason to believe and does believe, that errors were made in the counting of the votes frm each district within the Third Ward of the city of Paterson. Such errors include abnormalities concerning tabulations by each district board and by the Passaic County Board of Elections and/or Board of Canvessers, as well as mistakes in declaring the results of the Election.”
McKoy also says he believes the election contained the improper harvesting of ballots, with between 300 and 1,163 uncounted ballots expressly disqualified by the Board of Elections due to concerns about voter fraud.