In an election already knee-deep in allegations of ballot tampering, Paterson Councilman William McKoy has filed for a recount after losing his re-election bid by 245 votes in last week’s non-partisan municipal election.
Alex Mendez, a former at-large councilman, leads McKoy, 1,595 to 1,350. Of the 4,556 vote-by-mail ballots cast in that contest, 1,195 were rejected – about 26% of the total votes cast.
“The sheer volume of complaints of voter fraud from Paterson residents has required the intervention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Postal Service to investigate improprieties related to the Election,” said McKoy’s attorney, Scott Salmon of Jardim, Meisner & Susser, in his court filing.
In his filing, Salmon argued that “a significant number of ballots were unlawfully obtained and/or harvested, such that the true results of the Election are uncertain.”
Included in that number were close to 900 ballots that appear to have been mailed in bulk from three individual mailboxes, including more than 300 rubber-banded together form a mailbox in neighboring Haledon.
“Upon information and belief, errors committed by the arbiters of the election process resulted in an inaccurate overall count, which resulted in Mr. Mendez erroneously being declared the winner of the Election,” Salmon wrote in his petition to the court. “Specifically, Petitioner has reason to believe, and does believe, that errors were made in the counting of the votes from each district within the Third Ward in 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 Canvassers, as well as mistakes in declaring the results of the Election”
Passaic County Board of Elections Chairman John Currie, who also chairs the state and county Democratic parties, said on election day that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on-site investigating the Paterson balloting. Currie was on a live-stream broadcast of the count and made his comments to other election officials.
Mendez, who ran for mayor in 2018, is a former at-large councilman and political rival of Mayor Andre Sayegh. The conventional wisdom is that Mendez challenged McKoy to set up another run for mayor in 2022.
Sharrieff Bugg received 296 votes, followed by Robyn Spencer (118) and Chauncey Brown (43).McKoy verified complaint paterson 2020