After Recount, Margin Closer but Dems Still Up
Deputy Mayor Jerry Fernandez is within four votes of reelection.
This morning, after Union County officials recounted the ballots cast by Springfield residents in the 2012 election, the margin of victory for township Democratic Committee member elect Margaret Bandrowski reportedly slipped from five votes to four.
Republican Springfield Deputy Mayor Jerry Fernandez, who narrowly lost to Bandrowski, said that following the recount of votes held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, the official result changed by one vote. Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi said that five votes were changed, with two provisional ballots and three mail-in ballots showing different results.
While the outcome is the same, Republicans believe that the difference is telling.
"The end results didn’t change," Republican Springfield Mayor Ziad Shehady said. "But what the recount shows is that there were counting issues."
In addition, Shehady said that his fellow Republicans noted several alleged voting irregularities while going over the ballots and voting signature books. Shehady said that while reviewing voter signature books, he saw numerous signatures that appeared to be discrepancies.
"I'm not going to speculate on what it is," Shehady said. "It could be fraud in some cases and it might not be."
Rajoppi said she was not aware of any issues with signatures.
The Union County Board of Elections certified the results on Nov. 26, 2012. David Barnett and Margaret Bandrowski were declared winners by a narrow margin, with Bandrowski beating incumbent Jerry Fernandez by five votes. They will certify the new results this afternoon.
The recount occurred at the warehouse in Scotch Plains where Springfield's voting machines are stored.
Patch has several requests for comment out for this story. We will update as responses come in.
Keep track of the latest news in Springfield by liking Springfield Patch on Facebook.