In Paterson’s 2nd Ward council race, where just eight votes separate the two candidates, 50 people who cast mail-in votes in the May 12 election had their ballots rejected because the Passaic County Board of Elections didn’t have their signatures in the database.
Vote-by-mail ballots were sent to these voters by the county clerk, but when the 50 ballots were returned, election officials had no signature on file to compare it to and refused the vote.
In that race, incumbent Shahin Khalique leads Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 1,729 to 1,721, with 440 votes for Frank G. Filippelli.
Akhtaruzzaman is seeking a recount.
It’s not immediately clear how the signatures of these voters – many of whom recently registered, the New Jersey Globe has learned – did not make their way to the voter file.
A new voter would have had to provide a signature to become a registered voter.
In the 1st Ward race, six ballots were rejected because no signature appeared in the county system to compare it to.
Incumbent Michael Jackson leads by 241 votes, 844 to 599, over Nakima Redmon. A third candidate, Mossieh Uddin, has 490 votes.