Citing irregularities in the election process, including incorrect mail-in ballots being sent to voters, machines not working in several polling places, and citizens who were prevented from voting at the polls being denied provisional ballots, Jonathan F. Cohen, the attorney representing former Mayor and Assemblyman Jamel Holley, has demanded a recount.
“The official numbers state that Holley lost to Shaw by 76 votes, 1484 to 1408. The Union County Clerk has confirmed that there are a total of 77 undervotes and overvotes, but has refused through the County Counsel to answer legitimate requests from the Holley Campaign regarding whether these undervotes and overvotes were from mail-in or in-person ballots and from which District/Ward they originated,” said Cohen.
“Moreover, no one from the Clerk’s Office, which was responsible to send out mail-in ballots, has answered why registered Democrats received Republican ballots for the primary election,” said Cohen.
The Holley campaign filed a recount petition in the Union County Superior Court, alleging irregularities in the primary election that could have disenfranchised enough voters to reverse the outcome of the Democratic nomination for Mayor in the Borough of Roselle.
In a statement, the campaign said that there were more disqualified and rejected ballots than the margin of votes between Holley and incumbent Mayor Donald Shaw.
The 76 votes that separate Holley from Shaw is one less than the number of ballots that are not being counted.
“The 77 ballots disqualified as undervotes and overvotes combined exceeds the margin of 76 votes which separates the candidates in the final vote tally,” said the recount petition.
The campaign also alleged that there were incorrect mail-in ballots sent to voters, voting machines not working, and voters being prevented from voting at the polls or provisionally.
“Because of the close margin between the contestants to the Mayoral primary and the lack of transparency by the County Clerk in reporting irregularities and disqualified ballots, the Holley Campaign has no choice but to institute this legal action to ensure that the voters of the Borough of Roselle can be assured that the election was conducted properly and decided fairly,” the statement said.
The campaign said that it looks forward to conducting a thorough recount, which will include the review of all election materials, including but not limited to the purported undervotes and overvotes, so as to determine who should be the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Roselle based on the will of the voters.
The recount petition is scheduled to be heard in court on June 30.