November 22, 2006

Recount in Flemington Borough Council Race

by W. Timothy Howes, Esq.

When the dust settled on Election Day, it appeared that Flemington Borough Council Candidate Julie Luster had lost her race by one vote.  Ms. Lester wanted to make sure that every borough voter who went to the polls and cast a legal ballot has that vote counted.  As such, she asked Howes & Howes to file a recount petition.

The Flemington Borough Council race came down to the wire.  When the dust settled, Democrat Mark Legato had a one-vote lead over his Republican rival, Julie Luster.  Because the race was so close, and the possiblity of machine or human error, Ms. Lester decided to file for a formal recount.

In a recount, the County Board of Elections reviews the voting machines and the election materials in the presence of the interested parties, then re-tabulates the votes.  In Flemington’s case, it is a fairly simple operation because there are only three voting districts in the borough, and there were just over one thousand votes cast.

Ms. Luster’s goal in filing for the recount is to ensure that every borough voter who went to the polls on Election Day and cast a legal vote has that vote counted properly.

Quite often the vote totals change as the result of a recount, which leaves open three possiblities:  (1) That Ms. Luster is still a losing candidate; (2) that the candidates are tied; and (3) that Ms. Luster is the winning candidate.  The recount is nothing more than a re-tabulation of the vote.  If there are legal questions following the recount, then those issues go to a Superior Court Judge in the form of an election contest petition.

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If you need legal help in matters similar to those described in this document, call Howes & Howes for a prompt, confidential consultation.

Howes & Howes

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Raritan, New Jersey 08869

Telephone: (908)704-0037

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