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Montclair Councilor Renee Baskerville

Baskerville undecided about Montclair recount

Mayoral candidate wants to know effect of post office delays

By David Wildstein, May 17 2020 8:44 pm

Renee Baskerville, who trails Sean Spiller by 195 votes in the race for mayor of Montclair, is waiting to see if election officials will allow late arriving ballots to be counted before she decides if she is going to seek a recount.

Of the 425 of the 11,371 vote-by-mail ballots cast in the May 12 all-VBM election that were rejected by the Essex County Board of Elections, the issues surrounding them not being counted isn’t clear.  That number doesn’t include ballots that arrived on Friday or may arrive this week.

Baskerville told the New Jersey Globe that she wants Secretary of State Tahesha Way to “relax the 48 hour rule given the known Coronavirus delays and early closures.”

“We are also interested in determining if there was an official role of the Post Office with regard to ballot counting,” she said, stressing the “adverse impact of the Coronavirus on U.S. Postal Services.”

Baskerville can seek a recount after the Essex County Clerk certifies the election results, which could come as early as Monday.

It’s not immediately clear how many ballots came in on Wednesday and Thursday without postmarks, or how many might come in that have postmarks of May 12 or before.

“I just won’t know until after that,” said Baskerville, a 4th Ward councilor.  “Then I will have some decisions to make.”

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