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West Wildwood Commissioner Amy Korobellis.

Judge denies West Wildwood incumbents’ recount request

By Nikita Biryukov, November 24 2020 4:19 pm

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday denied a recount request lodged by a slate of defeated candidates in West Wildwood, citing the large margin between them and the victorious slate.

Mayor Christopher Fox, Commissioner Scott Golden and Commissioner Amy Korobellis, all of “The Team That Puts You First” slate, filed for the recount, claiming the state’s mostly mail election could have spurred enough human counting errors to hand victory to their opponents.

The results weren’t particularly close. Among the incumbents, Korobellis ran in first with 164 votes. Golden has 161 votes, while Fox had just 158.

John Banning and Joseph Segrest, who ran with Matthew Ksiazek (197) on the “Honesty, Integrity and Commitment to Community” slate, each received 195 votes.

Judge Julio Mendez in his ruling said the defeated slate offered no testimony or evidence that would point to specific errors in the count, instead only making general claims impugning the count’s accuracy, a fact that made the margin between Korobellis and the victors of greater consequence.

More than 80% of registered voters cast ballots in West Wildwood, but that figure still means that only 369 votes cast ballots there. That means the 31 votes separating Korobellis and the victors amount to an eight-point margin.

“An 8% differential falls substantially outside what the Court would consider a close election for purposes of issuing a recount,” Mendez wrote.

The order could suggest similar fates for recounts launched by Republican candidates in Gloucester County, who charge tallies there may be erroneous because of this year’s new election rules.

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