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Paterson City Council candidate MD Forid Uddin. (Photo: MD Forid Uddin).

Paterson council race still too close to call

In a race where just 131 votes separate two candidates, more than 2,600 ballots still uncounted

By David Wildstein, May 13 2022 2:51 pm

The race for an open at-large seat on the Paterson City Council remains too close to call, with a huge number of ballots still uncounted – roughly ten times the margin between the two top candidates — and no winner expected until at least next Wednesday.

Paterson High School teacher MD Forid Uddin leads Casey Melvin, the owner of a local barbershop, by 131 votes, 3,285 to 3,154.   Mark Fischer, a planning board member and general manager of the Silk City Sharks minor league football team, has 2,858 votes and is 427 votes behind Uddin.

Paterson has at least 1,339 vote-by-mail ballots still to be counted.  Some of them were deposited in secure ballot drop boxes before 8 PM on Election Day, while the rest came in on Wednesday and Thursday.  Additional mail-in ballots may still come in today and Monday and will be counted if they are postmarked by 8 PM on March 10.

The Passaic County Board of Elections has not publicly released the number of provisional ballots cast in Tuesday’s non-partisan municipal election.

It’s also not clear how many ballot cure letters remain outstanding.

There are approximately 1,3000 provisional ballots that won’t be counted until Wednesday, election officials said.

Two incumbents, Dr. Lilisa Mimms (4,768) and Maritz Davila (3,852), were re-elected on Tuesday.  Councilman Flavio Rivera, who took a job with the Passaic County Board of Social Services, last year, did not seek re-election to a second term.

Five other candidates appear to have fallen short: Gilman Choudhury (2,441); Melissa Baralt (2,180); Sonia Deliz (2,1720); Mitch Santiago (2,156); and Jeyss Abreu (1,879).

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh won a landslide re-election victory on Tuesday, defeating Councilman Alex Mendez and three others by a wide margin.

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