Talk about a razor thin margin:
With a three vote lead over Republican Jerry Stevenson, Democrat Dan Dunham, who petitioned to reopen the recount, has won the three-year Borough Council seat. Mr. Stevenson had been the certified winner by one vote back on Nov. 25 when the first recount took place after the Tuesday, Nov. 4, election.
Almost seven weeks after the General Election, on Christmas Eve, Judge Theodore Bozonelis directed that the prior certification of the elections results be invalidated and that the results be re-certified, with Mr. Dunham declared the winner with a three vote lead. The recount took place on Monday, Dec. 22, at the Board of Elections in Morristown. Mr. Dunham’s total number of votes rose four to 3,370 while Mr. Stevenson’s remained at 3,367, the same number since the Nov. 25 recount.
And that’s why it’s so important to make sure you file for a recount. We touched on that when the Democrats missed a deadline to file for a recount in Closter after a 3 vote loss. In Madison, they actually got this one on the recount of the recount:
Four previously uncounted ballots were opened and counted on Dec.22. Out of the four ballots, three votes were cast for Mr. Dunham and no votes were cast for Jerry Stevenson. Another unopened ballot was also discovered and counted, and that one also was for Mr. Dunham.
Ms. Tiritilli noted “pure clerical errors remedied the election. The correction of clerical errors was the sole factor for change in the election results. An election contest was never even reached,” she said, adding that it was paramount that the votes that were properly cast be counted.
Mr. Dunham filed a petition on Friday, Dec. 5, to reopen the recount after he learned that he was only one vote behind Mr. Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson had 3,367 votes while Mr. Dunham had 3,366 votes. Both parties’ attorneys met with Judge Bozonelis on Friday, Dec. 12. On Friday, Dec. 19, the judge granted the request to re-open the recount action. On Monday, Dec. 22, the recount took place.
That’s a pretty significant clerical error. It actually will change the makeup of council creating a 3-3 split when Dunham gets sworn in on January 1.